The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

May 11, 2013

Bold turkey: Woman hits cop to kick smoking habit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Think you’ve heard of every way possible to quit smoking? Etta Mae Lopez came up with a new one: slap a cop and go to jail, where smoking isn’t allowed.

Lopez smacked Sacramento County sheriff’s Deputy Matt Campoy in the face Tuesday as he left the main jail at the end of his shift. He grabbed her and took her inside the jail, where she slapped his arm as soon as he turned her loose.

Once she was handcuffed, the 5-foot 1-inch Lopez told Campoy she picked him because he was in uniform and she wanted to make sure she struck a law enforcement officer.

“She waited all day for a deputy to come out because she knew if she assaulted a deputy she would go to jail and be inside long enough to quit her smoking habit,” Campoy told The Sacramento Bee.

The deputy said he tried to sidestep Lopez as he left the jail through the usual gathering of family members who linger outside the facility a few blocks from the state Capitol.

“I stepped to the left again and she suddenly stepped into me and slapped my face,” he said.  “I’ve been telling everybody that I have a new Irish name: Nick O’Derm,” a reference to the NicoDerm brand of nicotine patches smokers use to try to kick the habit.

Lopez, 31, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery on a peace officer and was sentenced Thursday to 63 days in jail, with credit for the three days she served this week, said Shelly Orio, a spokeswoman for the county district attorney’s office. Lopez also was sentenced to five days for violating her probation from a 2010 drunken driving conviction.

Among the conditions included in her sentence: an order to have no contact with deputies.

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