McLean County inmate threw toilet water at staff, prosecutor says | Local News

McLean County inmate threw toilet water at staff, prosecutor says | Local News

BLOOMINGTON — A 31-year-old man who was arrested last month for assaulting Illinois State University mascot Reggie Redbird is facing new charges after spitting on and tossing soiled water at McLean County jail staff on Saturday.

Joel A. Perez

Illinois State University Police said Joel A. Perez, 31, of Peoria Heights, yelled profanities at ISU mascot Reggie Redbird and a film crew on the ISU quad, and threw a handful of candy at them, in November. Perez faces new charges after an incident at the McLean County Detention Facility on Saturday.

A statement of arrest sent to The Pantagraph from the McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office said on Saturday, a watch commander at the McLean County Detention Facility heard a loud banging coming from Joel Perez’s cell. He was kicking the door and demanding to be put in a restraint chair, the report said.

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The watch commander tried talking to Perez but he refused, the statement continued. It added Perez spit at the correctional officer several times, with saliva hitting his arm once. 

Perez continued to kick the door after COs left him and then began flooding his cell, the report stated. Jail staff turned off his cell’s water and started cleaning up.

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The arrest record said when COs entered his cell block to clean, Perez splashed the watch commander and another CO with a cup of water. Perez apologized, the statement continued, saying that the water was only supposed to hit the commander.

Perez also made continuous violent threats to the commander and their family, the report said, and threw another cup of water that hit no one.

He was eventually restrained in a chair. Perez was asked why he threw the water, the record stated, and he said he thought the cup he threw had toilet water with feces in it.

The report said Perez later denied his earlier statements.

He was charged with three counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer, the records said, which is a Class 2 felony.

This is the second time the Peoria Heights man has been accused of spitting on McLean County jail officers, with the first occurring around three days after he was taken into custody.

The Pantagraph previously reported Perez was accused of displaying a gun to Steak ‘n Shake employees on Nov. 5 in Bloomington, and attempting to rob a Burger King in the same city.

U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law on May 20 a bipartisan hate crimes bill to combat violence against Asian Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will make it easier for Americans to report hate crimes.

Ferne Dekker

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