A Connecticut father overheard on a livestream threatening to throw one of his sons out of a window told police that jealous “hackers” must’ve set him up over a “Game of Thrones” card game he’s developing, a warrant shows.
Daniel Perez, 33, of Milford, was arraigned Monday on charges of risk of injury to a minor and second-degree threatening, while his wife, Alessandra Sillo, also 33, was charged with risk of injury to a minor after police responded to their home Thursday following reports that an internet livestream had captured “physical child abuse in progress,” the Connecticut Post reports.
Investigators managed to view the footage that was re-posted to YouTube and heard someone yelling at a child to eat, as well as children “screaming and crying” and sounds indicating that they were being struck, the report said. At one point, a man on the video who police say is Perez told a child to “f–king eat it all” before threatening to hurt the child if he didn’t.
“I’m going to throw you out the f–king window if you don’t shut the f–k up,” Perez said, according to the warrant. “You better shut the f–k up!”
But when police played audio of the video back to Perez, he insisted that someone else was to blame, police said.
“He claimed that ‘trolls’ and ‘hackers’ on the internet would do that because they were jealous of his success,” the warrant states.
Perez said he launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to develop a “Game of Thrones”-themed card game. Both Perez and Sillo are linked to a listing on the website that raised more than $3,200 before it was suspended on May 8, the newspaper reports.
Perez later admitted that the video was recorded on Feb. 6, saying he got upset at his children for spilling food and playing with a window. He also denied hitting the boys, ages 3 and 2, saying the “slapping sounds” on the recording may have been him striking the bed or a wall, according to the warrant.
The family’s home, which was “cluttered, filthy and in disarray,” had exposed nails in a bedroom, damage Perez blamed on the children. The residence also didn’t have running water, which Perez and Sillo said had stopped earlier that day, but the water company later indicated it had actually shut off service in November, the warrant states.
Officers also found that one of the children had what appeared to be a previous burn wound, but Perez said the mark was caused when the boy ran past him as he was smoking a cigarette, police said.
Perez and Sillo then allegedly fled to Rhode Island after police left their home after agreeing to a safety plan, which included child welfare workers taking the children to see a doctor the following morning, according to the newspaper.
Perez, Sillo and the toddlers were found on Friday unharmed a hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island, after a Silver Alert was issued regarding the boys’ whereabouts. They have since been placed in foster care, WTIC reports.
“We’ve come across several different instances where social media assisted us in the investigation, but rarely is it ever the lead cause of starting the investigation,” Milford police spokesman Michael DeVito told the station. “In this case, it was.”
Perez and Sillo are expected to return to court on June 4.
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