Belton Man Accused of Threatening to Shoot Police After Arrest
A Belton man was behind bars Monday night after a string of incidents that began last week and culminated in him reportedly threatening to retaliate against officers who were transporting him to jail.
36-year-old Joey Paul Perez is charged with harassment, interfering with public duties, and third-degree retaliation/obstruction. Bell County Jail records listed another unspecified third degree felony charge as well.
Police say it started on April 7 when Perez and another man identified as 34-year-old Paul Estrada IV of Temple recorded themselves interfering with a traffic stop. The two referred to themselves as "First Amendment auditors", and police say they've been actively filming and commenting on police activity in Central Texas and posting the videos online. (Perez was not listed on the Bell County Jail roster Monday night. Police say he's been charged with harassment and interference with public duties.)
On April 7, Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis sent certified letters to Perez and Estrada acknowledging their right to record police activity and requesting that they do it safely and without impeding police duties.
According to police, the two men entered the Belton Post Office on April 9 and live streamed themselves harassing multiple customers there. The customers left the post office and went to the Belton Police Department to file complaints against the two men. Police say Perez and Estrade followed the customers and continued to harass and intimidate them.
Police say Perez threatened officers the same day while en route to the Bell County Jail for the misdemeanor harassment charge.
Records showed he remained in the jail Monday night with bonds totaling