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Lieutenant faces domestic violence charge

A Springfield police lieutenant has been arrested on domestic violence and assault charges.

Lt. Noel Lopez, 48, was arrested Friday for alleged incidents that occurred Thursday and Feb. 24 involving a woman in his home in Moorefield Twp.

Springfield Police Chief Steve Moody said he was alerted about the arrest Friday and placed Lopez on paid administrative duties while the case is pending.

The woman filed a complaint with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office on Friday in which she related that Lopez had become “more aggressive verbally and physically towards her” since February, according to a court affidavit. She told deputies that Lopez threw soda bottles, medication bottles and fruit at her during a dispute in their kitchen Feb. 24, leaving bruises on her right leg, which were still visible during the interview, deputies said.

In the incident Thursday, Lopez allegedly became violent with the woman when she was texting her daughter. The woman said Lopez grabbed her wrist and tried to take her phone from her, leaving bruises on the top of her left wrist, the court affidavit said.

Lopez voluntarily came to the sheriff’s office Friday to speak with deputies. He reportedly denied having a domestic dispute with the woman or engaging in any physical altercation, the sheriff’s office reported.

The woman filed a civil protection order against Lopez, which has been granted. Lopez is also requesting a protection order, according to court records. The police department is following all rules regarding the protection order, Moody said, which includes surrendering any firearms.

Lopez’s attorney, James Skogstrom, entered pleas of not guilty with the Clark County Municipal Court on Monday and requested a pre-trial hearing. Lopez’s bond was set at $1,000, which he has posted, according to court records.

Moody declined to comment further on the case. Calls to Skogstrom and Lopez were not returned Tuesday.

This is the second time Lopez has been accused of domestic violence while working for Springfield police. In March 2002 he was found not guilty on two counts of domestic violence after his accuser, in trial testimony, said she lied about alleged abuse. After repeated questioning by the prosecutor, she said Lopez accidentally hit her in the neck with his elbow during an incident Dec. 1, 2001.

The woman also requested another protection order for domestic violence against Lopez on Aug. 13, 2011, but the petition was voluntarily dismissed Aug. 17, 2011, court records show.

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