Judge denies bond for former cop charged with threatening teens

PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A judge denied a former police officer’s request to be released on bond, Thursday, more than a week after he was arrested for threatening two teenagers with a gun.

Pembroke Pines Police arrested former Hialeah Police Officer Mario Perez last week, after he allegedly threatened and struck two teens who were driving around his neighborhood. The 49-year-old requested release from jail on bond, Thursday, but Broward County Circuit Judge Michael Usan denied his request.

“The facts alleged in the probable cause affidavit are disturbing, and at this time the court is going to decline,” Usan said.

Perez will not be allowed to return to his home in a gated Pembroke Pines neighborhood, where the incident allegedly happened and the two teenagers also live.

“With respect to Mr. Perez, he’s not happy. He’s not happy being in jail, obviously,” his attorney John Hager said.

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Tyler Muraida, 19, said the incident started when he and his friend were driving through their neighborhood, and Perez felt like the car was too loud. Perez, who now works for a security company, began chasing them in his car, the teens said, and when they stopped at the guard gate, he pulled out a gun.

Fifteen-year-old Jordan Ganthier, who was sitting in the passenger seat, said that as they waited for the gate to open, Perez approached Muraida with a gun.

“He punches Tyler with the gun. He punches Tyler with his fist and tells Tyler to get the keys out of the ignition,” Jordan said.

Muraida said Perez told him, “‘If you move or you keep moving, I’m gonna put three in you.’ And that’s what really scared me.”

“And says, ‘You have 10 seconds to get the hell out of here or your friend’s dead, or I swear to God, I’m going to kill your friend,'” Jordan added.

Perez’s attorney said the case isn’t just about a noisy car.

“His 15-year-old son was out there and almost got struck by the car, as well as another bicyclist,” Hager told the judge in court.

Perez’ wife asked the judge to grant her husband release on bond.

“It’s a surprise. He’s a very good man, a very good father, and we would very much like him home,” Nicole Perez said.

His father-in-law, Harry Bolinger, made a similar plea.

“I know him to be a good father, a loving and caring father, a good friend,” Bolinger told the judge.

But prosecutors said the teenagers are scared of Perez, especially because they all live in the same neighborhood. Granting the former police officer bond would be a safety issue, prosecutors said.

“They are terrified,” the prosecutor said.

Perez’s attorney will now wait for the state attorney’s officer to officially charge him, then decide what to do next.

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