Internal affairs investigates Miami Police Sgt for Pembroke Pines incident

 
By Andrea Torres
 

Miami Police Department Sgt. James Faris got in the car when Mario Perez decided to chase a pair of teens in a convertible to hit them and threaten to kill them at gunpoint, according to Pembroke Pines detectives. 

Pembroke Pines Police Department Officer Daniel P. Donato said Perez was upset because the teens were being noisy in his neighborhood, the gated Pembroke Shores community, according to the arrest report. 

Perez, 49, was a police officer with the Hialeah Police Department from 1988 to 1994. 

With Faris in the car, Perez searched for the teens and chased their black Honda S2000 until they stopped to see what he wanted. Faris allegedly stayed in the car when Perez reportedly got out and shouted at the teens, "You mother [expletive]!"

The teen behind the wheel, 19-year-old Tyler Thornton Muraida, said he sped away, because he was afraid of Perez. But Perez didn't give up. He allegedly got back in the car with Faris and chased the teens again. When Muraida stopped and was waiting for a slow gate to open, Perez allegedly saw an opportunity. 

Muraida, a college student, said Perez pulled out a gun and said, "If you move again, I'm going to put three in you." Muraida said Perez ordered him to turn the car off and remove his keys from the ignition, and punched him on the side of the head.

Perez allegedly walked to the passenger's side of the convertible and placed the gun to the neck of the 15-year-old boy who was traveling with Muraida. The boy said Perez also threatened to kill him and struck him with the gun in the back of the head with such force he caused minor swelling.  

Muraida said Perez walked back to the driver's side of the car and said, "If I ever see you again, I'm going to [expletive] kill you." He said Perez hit him in the head again and let them go. But the boy who was with Muraida lives in the Pembroke Shores community. Perez is his neighbor. 

The teens had injuries to prove their account of what happened. 

Muraida and the boy he was with said the convertible top and the windows were down, yet Pembroke Pines detectives said Faris told them that although he witnessed an altercation "due to his position he could not see what exactly occurred between them." 
On Monday, Donato arrested Perez for suspicion of committing aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, battery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and two counts of armed burglary of the car.  Perez was denied bond and was set to appear in court April 27. 
The City of Miami Police Department's internal affairs unit was investigating Faris.