August 29, 2014

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Police responded to multiple incidents at Perez household

LORAIN — Lorain police reports show Erica Perez, the woman accused of seven counts of child endangering, has had rocky and violent relationships with the fathers of her children.

Perez was arrested July 5 after police said they found her Long Avenue home filled with garbage and her children neglected. Police reported that seven children were living in the home at the time, another was with a relative and Perez is four months pregnant.

The fathers of the children are in jail, have mental disabilities or are facing criminal charges. Lorain County Children Services deemed the four fathers incompetent to care for their children, according to court documents.

Police reports show that since 2001, two fathers of Perez’s children beat up Perez on more than one occasion.

Rayshaun Powell, who has three children with Perez, was charged with domestic violence in October 2001 after Perez said he punched her in the mouth and arm because she would not move back in with him. Perez, who was then 18, was living with Powell but moved out to live with a friend.

According to Lorain police reports, officers received numerous reports that year that Powell continued to harass Perez after a temporary protection order was filed against him. According to reports, Perez’s friend and Perez received numerous phone calls from Powell in which he threatened to “shoot up” her residence.

Perez told police she also received phone calls in which an unknown caller would breathe heavily into the phone, according to reports she filed.

Powell was convicted of domestic violence twice in 2001 as well as aggravated menacing. He is in the Lorain County Jail, awaiting trial on rape charges.

Powell, who talked earlier this week with The Chronicle-Telegram, said he regrets his actions, which he said mostly were brought on by altercations with Perez.

“I was a stupid person. I was immature,” he said. “My mom raised me good, but I was in a gang.”

Powell said he has contacted Children Services in hopes of getting the agency to give his children to his mother, but a letter from the agency to Powell at the jail said the children would be moved to Florida to live with Perez’s mother, Jeannette Sierra.

Travis Wyatt, father to three of Perez’s other children, also has contacted Children Services for custody, according to his mother, Esther Wyatt. He also was denied a recommendation because of his criminal record.

In October 2003, police were sent to Perez’s apartment on Reeves Avenue after receiving a call that her children were home alone. Police arrived to find Wyatt with two young children, but Perez returned while officers were there and told them she had fled because Wyatt had beaten her up.

Perez told police Wyatt choked her with a belt and only let go of her throat after she began to vomit, according to a report of the incident. Officers noted that Perez had red marks on her neck, and Wyatt was charged with domestic violence.

Perez obtained a temporary protection order barring Wyatt from contacting her, but police reports from that year show he continued to do so. They were found together several times after the order was filed, according to police reports.

According to court records, Travis Wyatt was convicted of domestic violence twice — in 2004 and 2006 — and has a current domestic violence case in Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. He also was convicted of violation of a temporary protection order in 2004.

Perez also alleged that the father of one of her children — Al Johnson — assaulted her in 2010, according to a Lorain police report, but further information on that incident was not available. Johnson had no prior domestic violence convictions, according to police who filled out the report.

In an affidavit seeking temporary emergency custody of Perez’s eight children filed last Friday in Lorain County Juvenile Court,  Children Services noted that Johnson could not care for his child with Perez because he suffers from schizophrenia.

Perez’s first child, now 12, was fathered by Henry Maldonado. That man is in Marion Correctional Institution, where he is serving time on a murder charge.

When Maldonado was 19, he killed his 15-year-old girlfriend, dragged her into the woods and tried to burn her body. A friend of Maldonado’s testified that Maldonado had killed the girl because she interfered with his relationship with Perez, who was pregnant with their son at the time.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.