"My In-Laws Tried to Kill Me"

January 25, 2013
Dr. Phil speaks with a young father who survived an attempted murder by his former in-laws. Then, victims of a police officer-turned-predator share their stories. Have you been a victim of a crime? Don’t miss Dr. Phil’s coping strategies.







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RamonRamon's former in-laws, Lester and Erlene RegerMichael Dougan, Deputy District AttorneyMel Feit, Director of the National Center for MenMelissaMarjanTalia and LacyDan Gilleon, Attorney

A Diabolical Plan

Ramon, 20, was a young father recently divorced from his ex-wife in February 2012 when he was lured into the garage by his former mother-in-law and shot — execution-style — in the back of the head by his former father-in-law. How did he survive? 


Hear Ramon’s remarkable story.

“Why aren’t you dead?”

Deputy District Attorney Michael Dugan, who prosecuted the Regers, explains their defense strategy and why he thinks they tried to kill Ramon.

Although his in-laws are behind bars, Ramon says he still doesn’t feel safe. He says after the trial someone attempted to blow up his vehicle, and he believes the culprit is associated with his in-laws. He says he also struggles with feelings of paranoia: He doesn’t like people standing over him, he often finds himself looking over his shoulder, and he won’t leave a drink unattended for fear that someone may try to poison him.

Now, Ramon says he has a new challenge — fighting for his rights as a father. His ex-wife has custody of their son, and Ramon claims that she is trying to keep him from seeing his boy.

Mel Feit, founder of The National Center for Men, offers advice for the young dad.

A Cautionary Tale

Melissa, Marjan, Talia and Lacy say they’re struggling to move on after San Diego police officer Anthony Arevalos victimized them during a traffic stop.

Melissa is speaking out for the first time since she says she was sexually assaulted by Arevalos. “I think people expect victims to act certain way and remain anonymous and hide. Maybe it’s time to let go and move on,” she says tearfully.

Melissa shares what happened when she was pulled over. “From that moment on, I knew this wasn’t a typical traffic stop.”

Arevalos was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison for bribing and sexually assaulting young drivers while on duty from 2009 to 2011.
 
Marjan, Talia and Lacy say they too were victimized by this protector-turned-predator. Marjan says she was driving with her sister when she was pulled over and asked to get out of the car. She says Arevalos took his time questioning her and made inappropriate comments. When he started to handcuff her, she resisted, and that’s when she says he put his hand down her pants. “At that point, I knew what he was going to do with me, so I just gave my hands to him, and he handcuffed me,” she says. Marjan says Arevalos groped her again when he put her in his car.
 
Dan Gilleon, an attorney who represented several of Arevalos’ victims in a civil suit against the city of San Diego, weighs in. “He’s a criminal. He’s a predator, and he was abusing his authority, his weapon and his badge,” he says. “He happened to be wearing a badge and a gun for way too long.”

Talia and Lacy share their frightening experience.

Dr. Phil shares coping strategies for victims of crime:

Find someone to talk with. “I can’t tell you how many times victims have come forward and the first thing they say is, ‘I had no idea that I wasn’t the only one,’” Dr. Phil says.

Allow yourself to feel the pain. “Don’t blame yourself, don’t feel guilty,” he says.
 
Keep a journal.

Take care of your mind and body. Exercise can be therapeutic.

Re-establish a normal routine. “Don’t withdraw from life. Sometimes it’s hard to not just get into an emotionally fetal position. You’ve got to put one foot in front of the other and get back out there,” Dr. Phil says.


In Memory of Dr. John Roitzsch

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I pay tribute to one of my good friends and a highly-esteemed member of our advisory board who passed away recently.”