Police Coerced Man Into Confessing To Father’s Murder In Brutal 17-Hour Interrogation — But Dad Was PERFECTLY FINE!

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

This horrifying case might change the way you view interrogations and confessions forever…

Back in 2018, Thomas Perez Jr. of California contacted Fontana Police Department on August 8 out of concern for his dad. At the time, the son reported that his father had gone missing after walking the dog the afternoon before. Instead of going out looking for the elder Perez, the police brought in Junior for questioning. What ensued was unimaginable — something his attorney would later refer to as “psychological torture”.

Despite never arresting him, investigators reportedly brought Perez back to an interrogation room where he would remain for the next 17 HOURS. According to legal docs obtained by The Orange County Register, officers told the man his father was dead and that they’d found evidence he’d committed the murder. They claimed they found bloodstains around the house, that their police dog smelled the presence of a corpse, and even said they’d found his dad covered in stab wounds.

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This shocked the suspect to his core, who swore he hadn’t killed anyone. As officers continued to interrogate him, Perez became increasingly distressed, going as far as to tear his shirt off, pull out his hair, and hit himself in the face. At one point, police even brought in his dog and threatened to euthanize it, claiming it was suffering depression after witnessing the murder, and had walked around in blood in the home.

Court docs state Perez begged for medical attention but was denied it, along with his psychiatric medication. This left the judge to later declare he was “sleep deprived, mentally ill, and, significantly, undergoing symptoms of withdrawal from his psychiatric medications” during the interrogation. After a grueling 17 hours, the suspect laid on the floor next to his dog and confessed to the murder. He claimed to have stabbed his father to death with scissors, then hit him over the head with a beer bottle.

After leaving the interrogation room, the man was so traumatized by the whole thing he attempted suicide when left on his own, trying to hang himself with the drawstring of his shorts. But it seemed like police finally had their answers…

The only problem with this confession, though? Thomas Perez Sr. was ALIVE AND UNHARMED!

The same night Perez tried to hang himself, his daughter called police and said his father wasn’t missing at all, he was just off spending time with a “lady friend”. Meanwhile, the suspect had already been placed in a 72 hour psychiatric hold, so he didn’t even hear this news. On top of that, he only got his dog back after tracking it down via microchip to an animal control center.

You can see some shocking clips of the interrogation (below):

So disturbing. That poor man…

Later reports revealed the cops’ concern grew when Perez reported his dad missing because he seemed “distracted” and “unconcerned” during the 911 call. They also found disarray in the family home, as well as some blood stains on the ground. They thought this indicated a struggle, but according to the suspect’s attorney it was just some renovations and blood spatter from the father’s diabetic test finger pricking. And they tortured this man until he confessed to a murder that never happened.

Perez eventually sued the city of Fontana. On Sunday, Perez and his lawyer Jerry Steering settled out of court for a payment of $898,000 — but his story opens up an entirely new conversation. The attorney told The Telegraph over the weekend:

“This case shows that if the police are skilled enough, and they grill you hard enough, they can get anybody to confess to anything … Mentally torturing a false confession out of Tom Perez, concealing from him that his father was alive and well, and confining him in the psych ward because they made him suicidal, in my 40 years of suing the police I have never seen that level of deliberate cruelty by the police.”

So awful… It makes you wonder what if the dad had been dead? And cops used that confession to put an innocent man in prison. If cops can do that… how many times has this happened before??

If you think the $900k is a low payout for that kind of torture, the OC Register reports Perez only agreed to it out of fear “a jury award could be overturned on appeal on grounds of qualified immunity for police.” Qualified immunity is a “judge-created rule that protects government officials, including police officers, when they are sued,” explains Steering to The Huffington Post.

So basically, cops have carte blanche when it comes to interrogation — and Steering argues it’s being abused by judges to keep police misconduct swept under the rug. Disgusting.

U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee said she believes something DID happen in the house — but she was super critical of how the police handled everything. She said in a summary:

“A reasonable juror could conclude that the detectives inflicted unconstitutional psychological torture on Perez. 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.”

One of the interrogators in the investigation has since retired. The other three are horrifically still employed with the PD and have faced no repercussions. So, so sickening.

Our hearts go out to Thomas and any other victims of such senseless and cruel treatment. What do U think of this situation? Let us know (below).

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. Consider contacting the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, by calling, texting, or chatting, or go to 988lifeline.org.

[Image via Fontana Police Department/CBS News/YouTube]

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