By Roger Lanse

On Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, at about 6:57 p.m., Silver City Police Department officers were called to a physical domestic disturbance at 2200 Yucca Street. The Grant County Regional Dispatch Authority had informed the officers that the victim, a 46-year-old female of the address, was locked in a bathroom waiting for officers to arrive.

When an officer arrived on scene, Michael Lopez, 48, of the address, with occupation listed as 'teacher,' was observed to be sitting on a fence near a stop sign. According to an SCPD report narrative, Lopez told the officer that he had been arguing with his wife and she always calls the police, but nothing had happened. At this point, the officer noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from Lopez' person. Lopez further told the officer that he was telling his wife she needed to go to work because he was tired of being poor.

Other officers arrived on scene and when the victim came out of the bathroom, she was very upset and crying, the narrative said. She stated they had been drinking and got into an argument, and when she and a witness were walking back into the house, Lopez approached her and slapped her on the right side of her face with his right hand. The witness, a 19-year-old female, also of the address, told officers she saw the two Lopez' physically fighting on the couch and took the pair outside to calm down, and when the victim and she walked back into the house, Lopez approached them and slapped the victim very hard across the face. According to the narrative, officers observed the right side of the victim's face to be red-colored and flushed.

Lopez denied striking the victim and, according to the narrative, stated the victim bit him on the ear when they were fighting on the couch and officers did observe a small laceration on his right ear lobe with a small amount of what appeared to be blood. Lopez was asked about the statements of the victim and the witness, but he continued to deny striking the victim.

The victim told officers she felt safe remaining in the house. Officers transported Lopez to SCPD, where he refused medical treatment for his ear. He was then booked into the Grant County Detention Center. GCDC staff told the Beat on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at about 3:30 p.m. that Lopez was being released "as we speak" on his own recognizance.