Punch threatens cop’s future

Chico PD officer allegedly caught on camera

An officer of the Chico Police Department is facing assault charges for allegedly punching a man in the face outside an Oroville casino on Nov. 23.

Casino security footage captured Officer Todd Lopez, 44, following a man into the parking lot and punching him in the face, said Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey. The victim reportedly insulted a woman Lopez was having dinner with and had been asked to leave by casino staff for being “generally obnoxious.” The victim, who has remained anonymous, needed two stitches for a split lip.

Lopez relinquished his gun and badge on March 1 and has been relegated to office work. If convicted, he could spend six months in jail and lose his right to carry a firearm for 10 years. Lopez is scheduled for arraignment on March 23.