While suspect David Lopez remains at large after he walked away from the local hospital, he has been charged in court with attempting to escape from jail.
Lopez, 34, had been on a medical pass from the San Benito County Jail when he walked away without any deputies watching over him during the release.
Lopez was arrested March 22 and transferred to the hospital March 23 for what was deemed a serious medical issue. He walked away from the hospital three days later, shortly before noon. He had been in custody following his arrest for possessing a stolen vehicle, a gun and methamphetamine. The suspect faces additional charges of possessing burglary tools, a drug pipe and a stun gun.
Now he faces the charge for escaping from jail, even though he technically left the hospital. Lopez is not yet in custody at the local jail, according to personnel there.
Sheriff’s Capt. Tony Lamonica previously said the sheriff’s office weighs the level of charges involved with inmates when deciding on medical passes and whether to keep deputies watching over county jail inmates needing medical attention. The hospital is not responsible for inmates in those situations.
With a medical pass, there is no one from law enforcement watching over the person or any security assigned by the sheriff’s office.
A previous sheriff’s office press statement about the initial Lopez arrest read as follows:
At about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, San Benito County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jason Leist observed a vehicle code violation in the area of Union Road at Southside Road in the unincorporated area of San Benito County. He stopped the Honda that was later confirmed to have been reported stolen out of Dos Palos.
Lopez was arrested during the vehicle enforcement stop. Lopez was also on post-release community supervision parole. During a search of the vehicle, a suspected methamphetamine pipe, a lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle and an “Airsoft” style pellet gun that was altered to resemble a real firearm were located.
A female passenger was also in the car, and it was later learned the Lopez made criminal threats to her if she were to cooperate with law enforcement during the stop. Lopez was transported and booked into the San Benito County Jail on the listed charges.
- Two $100,000 dollar felony warrants out of Merced County
- 10851 VC – Vehicle Theft
- 496 PC – Possession of stolen property
- 466 PC – Possession of burglary tools
- 32310(a) PC – Possession of a high capacity magazine
- PC 12220(a) Possession or transport of machine gun/parts
- 11364 HS Possession of drug paraphernalia
- 29805 (a) PC – Felon in possession of a firearm
- 20150(a) PC – Alter replica firearm
- 22610 (a) PC – Felon in possession of a “stun gun.”
- 422 PC – Criminal Threats