Two Men Arrested on Multiple Charges

Two Men Arrested on Multiple Charges
April 12, 2021
BELTON – The Belton Police Department arrested a 36-year-old Belton man, Joey Perez, on a retaliation charge related to a threat he made to shoot police officers.

Perez made the threat on Friday, April 9, as he was being transported to Bell County Jail on a separate misdemeanor charge of Interference with Public Duties related to an April 7 incident where Perez and another man, 34-year-old Paul Estrada IV, of Temple, video recorded themselves interfering with a traffic stop. Estrada is also charged with Interference with Public Duties.

The interference is related to actions from the men, which caused officers to divide their attention from official police duties.

Perez and Estrada also face a third charge, misdemeanor Harassment, related to an April 9 incident at the U.S. Post Office in Belton where the men live-streamed an online video in which they harassed multiple patrons at the post office. When the patrons left the post office and went to the Belton Police Department to issue complaints about the activity, Perez and Estrada followed them there and continued the harassment and intimidation.

Perez and Estrada refer to themselves as First Amendment auditors. Both have been active for several weeks recording and commentating on area police activity and posting it online.

On April 7, Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis sent certified letters to the men acknowledging their right to record police activity, but also requesting that they do it in a safe manner that allows officers to perform their duties unimpeded, as specified by Texas law.