Fontana Police Department Coerced A Man To Confess To His Living Father’s Murder

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Fontana Police Department cruiser
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The Fontana Police department accused a mentally unstable man of murdering his father and convinced him to confess… Turns out his dad was alive and well.

Fontana Police department coerces man into confessing to murder

Tom Perez Jr. called the Fontana police department to report that his father, Tom Perez Sr., 71, had gone missing from their home on Aug. 8, 2018.

When officers arrived at the California residence shared by the family members, they discovered Perez Sr.’s phone and wallet, along with some bloodstains.

After they brought in a K-9 unit to sniff out what they believed to be a crime scene, the highly trained dogs allegedly detected a smell associated with “deceased human remains.”

That’s when Perez Jr. was hauled into police headquarters for a lengthy, grueling interrogation regarding the alleged murder of his father.

During the 17 hour-long questioning, police officers repeatedly insisted that Perez Jr.’s father had been stabbed to death and accused him of the crime.

“We just told you we found your dead dad, and you don’t give a ****,” one detective reportedly accused.

Perez Jr., who not actually under arrest for the alleged murder during the trying ordeal, maintained he couldn’t recall committing such an act. However, police argued he was merely suppressing distressing memories.

At one point, Perez Jr. requested his psychiatric medication, but his plea was denied by the investigators who were pressing him for information about the alleged crime.

Perez Jr. eventually suffered a severe mental breakdown, from being without his medication for anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and asthma, while police accused him of killing his father. Video evidence showed him pulling his hair and tearing his shirt in distress.

Though he was in the throws of a psychotic break, the police refused to stop interrogating him and employed cruelly deceptive tactics to elicit a confession.

They brought Perez Jr.’s friend into the interrogation room, armed with the false knowledge that police had “enough evidence” to charge him with murder.

Police officers also stooped to an insane low of threatening to euthanize Perez Jr.’s dog, who they brought into the room, if he didn’t confess to killing his father.

“How can you sit there, how can you sit there and say you don’t know what happened, and your dog is sitting there looking at you, knowing that you killed your dad?” an officer questioned.

“Look at your dog. She knows because she was walking through all the blood.”

Perez Jr. finally snapped and did indeed confess to killing his father. When he was finally given a moment of peace by his interrogators, he attempted to hang himself by stringing his shoelaces together.

Police thwarted his suicide attempt and placed him in a mental hospital for three days while in their custody.

He was not allowed to speak to family members or friends during this time, and believed both his father and beloved Labrador Retriever had been killed.

As it turns out, Perez Sr. was found in El Monte, California, where he was visiting a girlfriend. His dog was taken to a shelter that she was eventually rescued from.

Perez Jr. was told days later that his father was alive. He was reunited with his parent and dog after being released from police custody.

Fontana Police department sued for psychotically torturous interrogation

Perez Jr. ended up filing a lawsuit against the City of Fontana for the traumatic ordeal. Last year, a judge ruled that it was up to a jury to determine the outlandish interrogation methods equated to “unconstitutional psychological torture.”

“A reasonable juror could conclude that the detectives inflicted unconstitutional psychological torture on Perez,” U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee wrote in a 2023 summary.

“Their tactics indisputably led to Perez’s subjective confusion and disorientation, to the point he falsely confessed to killing his father, and tried to take his own life.”

Last week, Perez Jr. settled for $900,000, around six years after the traumatic incident took place. His lawyer, Jerry Steering, said the cops used intentionally inhumane interrogation methods while falsely accusing Perez Jr. of murdering his own father.

“They’re not amateurs, and they know what they’re doing, and they know how to do it,” he stated.

“They could get you and I to confess to killing Abe Lincoln if they wanted to.”

According to Steering, his client is “doing fine” now, and only accepted the settlement over the “looming possibility that the Fontana Officers might have prevailed on an appeal.”

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