Councilman accused of making threatening phone call to boy faces judge

Newport Councilman John Florez appears for arraignment at Newport District Court.

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — On the day a Newport city councilman accused of making a threatening phone call to a 13-year-old boy faced a judge, police confirmed the boy in question is facing a similar charge.

Newport Councilman John Florez pleaded not guilty to a charge of making a crank or obscene phone call to a boy he said was sending sexual messages to his daughter.

According to Newport police, they received a report Dec. 4 that the boy sent Councilman John Florez’s daughter sexually explicit text messages. A family member told police that when Florez contacted the boy to get him to stop, the minor and his friends repeatedly called Florez more than a dozen times throughout the night.

It was during their investigation police said they developed probable cause that Florez called the boy and made several explicit threats to harm him. After interviewing Florez on Dec. 11, police said they formally charged the councilman with making crank or obscene telephone calls.

Speaking to Eyewitness News following his court appearance, Florez denied threatening physical harm against the boy and said he only threatened to contact police, which he did.

Police confirmed the boy is also charged with making crank or obscene telephone calls. He’ll be arraigned in family court at a later date.