FORT MYERS, Fla.- On Friday, April 19, 2013 the Fort Myers Police Department arrested Michael Perez for Second Degree Murder. Investigators say Perez killed Angel Espinosa during an apparent robbery on the Tarpon Street Pier back in October of last year.
Perez has been in jail since the night of the crime. On October 7, 2012, FMPD Officer Jonathan Garcia was patrolling the Tarpon Street and Edgewood Avenue area when he spotted Perez running from the pier towards a parked car. Officer Garcia shined his patrol car spotlight on Perez and immediately recognized him as a known violent offender. Perez jumped in the car and fled the scene. Due to Perez’s suspicious behavior, Officer Garcia activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop. The driver of the car stopped suddenly, Perez got out of the car and ran towards the river. During a short foot pursuit Officer Garcia observed Perez throw a handgun into the water. Perez continued running into the water. Officer Garcia pursued Perez until he placed Perez under arrest. Officer Garcia also located the handgun. In the dark of night, Officer Garcia waded into the river wearing his uniform pants and an undershirt. He searched for the gun for an hour until he found it about 40 feet from shore. Meanwhile, a couple walking in the area alerted police to the body of Espinosa on the pier. That night, police arrested Perez for Resisting an Officer without Violence, Possession of a Weapon by a Convicted Felon, and Evidence Destruction.
Over several months FMPD Detective Al Antonini worked on the homicide case and he obtained forensic evidence linking Perez to Espinosa’s death. On Wednesday, April 17, 2013, Perez was found guilty in Federal Court for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. His sentencing will take place in four months. On Friday, April 19, 2013 police served Perez, while in federal custody, with the arrest warrant for Second Degree Murder.