A cook at a Burnet restaurant was arrested
Monday for tainting a hamburger he prepared for the Burnet Police
Department chief Oct. 20. According to his arrest affidavit, Jaime
Perez, 23, told a friend he wiped himself with a hamburger bun he
was serving Police Chief Paul Nelson at
. Perez also said he put the veggies in his mouth before
placing them on the burger and proceeding to spit and blow his nose
The citizen told Chief Nelson
who filed a complaint with the Burnet County's Sheriff's Office.
The Chief recalled seeing Perez along with another cook standing
behind the counter watching him eat his food that day. "Jaime is
our best cook," said Andy's Landing General Manager Tiffany
Tappe. "It's the last thing we ever
Tappe was shocked when Burnet
County investigators walked into the kitchen and arrested Perez
Monday. Tuesday, they also arrested cook James Ledesma at the
restaurant. Both employees have been charged with
tampering with consumer product, a second degree felony. "It's
hard," said Chief Paul Nelson. "But, I knew things like this
might happen when I became a police officer."
Nelson has dealt
with Perez previously and believes he tainted
his food out of retaliation. "Without the person coming
forward, I might not have ever known," said Nelson.
Nelson believes his food was contaminated
on more than one occasion. A
Burnet police officer's dash cam video picked up the voice of
a disorderly Perez Oct. 11. Investigators said he can be heard
ranting about the chief and stated that he spat on the buns and
rubbed the buns "on his buns."
Sheriff's Office Investigator Dwight
Hardin said this was an isolated incident. Chief Nelson underwent
immediate medical tests but will need medical tests every
three months to check for communicable diseases. The results are
still pending. Investigators are still discussing whether or not
they will obtain a search warrant to draw Perez' blood to test
for communicable diseases. Perez is not talking to
investigators. Nelson is determined to let citizens know this act
was only directed at him.
"We've got a great community here in
the city of Burnet, and the restaurants are good," said Nelson.
In the meantime, Andy's Landing is being open and honest with
customers regarding the charges brought against two of their
cooks. They believe slow business Tuesday was a direct result of
the word getting around in the small town.
"I hope that our customers do keep
coming in, and trust us to continue preparing their food," said
Tappe. Tappe said the restaurant owner is waiting on the outcome
of the case to determine what will happen to Perez and Ledesma.
The suspects are still employed, but are not allowed to