Governments' Lighter Side

Controversial anti-smoking aid: assault on an officer

Forget nicotine patches and inhalers, California woman Etta Mae Lopez, 31, figured slapping a cop would put her behind bars long enough to kick her smoking habit.

So that’s exactly what she did.

Lopez whacked Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Campoy in the face on Tuesday as he was leaving the jail at the end of his shift. He grabbed her and took her inside the jail, where she slapped him again in the arm as soon as she was turned loose, according to an Associated Press report.

After she was in cuffs, Lopez told Campoy she singled him out because he was wearing a uniform. She wanted to be sure she attacked an officer, the AP reports.

“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.

“I’ve been telling everybody that I have a new Irish name: Nick O’Derm,” Campoy joked, referencing the popular nicotine patch, Nicoderm.

Lopez pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery on a peace officer and was sentenced to 63 days in jail, Shelly Orio, a spokeswoman for the county district attorney’s office told the AP.

Perhaps the Surgeon General will change the presently sanctioned warnings to include slaps as well as second-hand smoke.

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It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.

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Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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