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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Report details teen death in state jail, officials say they 'cleaned house' in response



For two hours, juvenile detainee Eric Perez cried, screamed, banged on his cell wall, and insisted he heard voices.

But prison guard Terence Davis was convicted that the youth was “faking it.”

Davis, a state report released Friday said, told a colleague it was not worth the paperwork to send Perez to a hospital.

In a scene hauntingly similar to the death of a teen at the Miami lockup nearly a decade earlier, guards, supervisors and the superintendent of the West Palm Beach juvenile detention center all did nothing for hours while Perez slowly died from a cerebral hemorrhage.

Perez’s July 10, 2011, death sent shockwaves through Florida’s chronically troubled juvenile justice system: Though administrators had pledged years earlier to “treat every child as if he was your own,” detention staff had, once again, neglected a youth to death. More from Carol Marbin Miller here.

[Last modified: Friday, October 19, 2012 3:30pm]


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