Etta Mae Lopez was ready. She was ready to finally quit smoking. But she knew it wouldn't be easy. No, it was going to be a Herculean effort. Ms. Lopez considered her options — perhaps a few months in rehab? Brilliant. No one would ever smoke in rehab. But her smokers' insurance probably wasn't going to cover that. So she picked the next best place to be when you want to stop smoking for free: jail. Because nothing stops those cravings like the thought of having to shank someone for a $30 "loosie."
But how to get there? Lopez — whose dreams of going smoke-free in jail had presumably already been quashed once, when she was given mere probation for a drunk-driving incident —needed something splashier, something that would get her put away, once and for all.
So she slapped a cop.
The story itself is almost as hilarious as her logic. Face-slapped Sacramento County sheriff's deputy Matt Campoy recounted the events to the Sacramento Bee, telling reporters that Lopez just appeared as he left the county jail at 4:20 p.m. Thursday. It was surreal, he added.
"I stepped to the left, she stepped to my left," Campoy told the paper. "I stepped to the right, she stepped to my right. I stepped to the left again and she suddenly stepped into me and slapped my face."
And Campoy soon learned how premeditated Lopez's crime of passion (emphasis on the "ash") was.
"She knew that the only way to quit smoking was to go to jail because they don't allow tobacco in the jail," Campoy explained, displaying some dubious logic. "She waited all day for a deputy to come out because she knew if she assaulted a deputy she would go to jail and be inside long enough to quit her smoking habit."
And Lopez was dedicated to her cause. According to the SacBee, Lopez told police that she had been outside the jail waiting for a uniformed deputy "for so long that she got hungry and had to go get something to eat - and then she had returned."
"I've been telling everybody that I have a new Irish name: Nick O'Derm," Campoy told the SacBee.