Former Hialeah cop pleads not guilty to armed assault against teens

PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A former Hialeah police officer accused of threatening two teenagers in his Pembroke Pines neighborhood entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment, Monday.

Mario Lazaro Perez, 49, was arrested April 17 after police said he chased two teenage neighbors who were riding in a noisy convertible with the top down in the gated Pembroke Shores community.

Perez allegedly cursed at the driver, 19-year-old Tyler Muraida, punched him in the face and pointed a gun at the back of 15-year-old Jordan Ganthier’s head, striking him there with the weapon.

Perez was charged with two counts of armed burglary of a car, one count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, court records show.

Pembroke Pines police said a Miami Police officer was present during the alleged assaults. Police Sgt. James Ross Faris, 51, was riding in Perez’s car and told investigators he could not see what happened between Perez and the teens in the convertible, according to an arrest report.

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