Park death: It was MURDER!

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Cops have collared the man who they say brutally murdered a Bensonhurst resident in Prospect Park last month, though his lawyer says that his confession may have been coerced.

The suspect, Santiago Perez, was charged with murder and robbery, and held without bail, at his arraignment on Wednesday.

Cops say he killed 41-year-old Afzal Mohammed late on July 29 near Lookout Hill in the Windsor Terrace portion of the fabled greensward.

According to court documents, Perez encountered Mohammed in the park, attempted to rob him, and later hit him in the back of the head twice with a tree limb.

He then took money from Mohammed’s wallet before fleeing.

Mohammed’s body was found at 8 am by a parks worker.

A police spokesman said that witnesses led police to Perez.

While in custody, Perez confessed that he committed the crime, the NYPD spokesman said.

But Perez’s lawyer, David Walensky, told The Brooklyn Paper that his client’s statements might have been forced.

“He doesn’t speak English well. … He’s an ignorant man,” Walensky said, claiming cops took advantage of his client’s mental capacity.

“He told me that he was threatened with torture and that they would use a device to shock him [if he didn’t confess].”

The police spokesman would not comment on Walensky’s charge that police threatened Perez with torture.

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Reader Feedback

BK says:
A very tragic story, but this man's death should not be deemed a murder before a murder conviction has been rendered.
Aug. 21, 2008, 8:23 pm

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