Two Baker police officers were assaulted Tuesday morning by a man who reportedly threatened to stab his brother with a machete and has threatened law enforcement authorities in the past.
Christopher Edward Lopez, 25, punched one officer in the jaw and another in the arm before the officers subdued him with stun guns in order to detain him.
“We don’t fight people anymore; it’s too dangerous,” Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps said in regard to the officers’ use of stun guns on Lopez.
Knaps said he will tell his officers to treat Lopez as combative and make sure extra officers are dispatched if dealing with future incidents involving Lopez.
“He’s always talking about cutting somebody,” Knaps said, adding he was relieved Lopez did not have the machete when officers arrived at the scene. Officers found the blade inside Lopez’s room after arresting him.
Police booked Lopez, 6206 Groom Road, Baker, into Parish Prison on counts of aggravated assault, felony battery of a police officer, resisting an officer with force or violence and misdemeanor battery of a police officer, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Attempts to reach Lopez’s family Tuesday afternoon were unsuccessful.
The affidavit says the two officers arrived at Lopez’s house about 2:40 a.m. to investigate a report that Lopez pulled a machete on his brother and threatened to stab him with it.
The brother wanted to press charges and when the officers tried to handcuff Lopez, he wheeled around and punched one in the jaw.
He tried to run back into the house, but his father barred his way, allowing an officer to catch up to him.
An officer fired his stun gun at Lopez after Lopez punched him in the arm, but the shot was ineffective because one of the barbs did not penetrate some loose clothing.
After Lopez was taken to the ground, an officer placed a stun gun against Lopez’s ankle and fired a two-second charge to incapacitate him.
Knaps said he thinks Lopez was still resisting when the officers tried to handcuff him, so that necessitated the second stun gun application.
Knaps said the officer punched in the jaw did not have any broken bones and is expected to fully recover.
Knaps said the incident will undergo a routine review because it involved the use of stun guns.