Sacramento, CA – A bizarre attempt to quit smoking has led Sacramento authorities to arrest 31-year-old Etta Lopez.
For Lopez, a nicotine patch wasn’t going to cease her need to smoke. Instead, the woman took extreme measures to end the habit by facing off with a Sacramento County deputy.
According to Deputy Matt Campoy’s account and CBS News, he was leaving his shift at the county jail when Lopez came out from nowhere and purposely blocked his path. She then went Zsa Zsa Gabor and slapped him in the face without provocation.
The assault resulted in charges and the woman was immediately arrested – which based on what authorities gather was the plan all along.
Lopez admitted to the deputy she needed to quit smoking, and had been sitting outside of the county jail for hours with the intent to assault an officer in hopes of getting put into jail where she would be forced to stop.
California facilities are supposed to be smoke-free. Therefore, they do not permit smoking indoors, reports the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF). Instead, inmates are usually given help-quit kits with gum and straws – something for them to chew on.
There are easier, law-abiding ways to quit smoking. WebMD suggested not going cold turkey as 95 percent will tend to relapse due to the side effects of nicotine withdraw. Instead consider nicotine-replacement therapy with patches or gums – something to physically supplement the craving. If you want to reduce the hankering without nicotine, ask your doctor for assistance.
Find healthier ways to manage stress. Where you would normally turn to a cigarette to alleviate frustration, an alternative method such as getting a massage, exercise, or engaging in a distracting activity may ease the tension. Also, avoid alcohol and other habitual triggers you associate with smoking.
If you persistently return to smoking, be equally tenacious in retrying to stop. Punishing yourself isn’t going to solve the issue. Thus, try and try again. It could take several attempts before you are successful.
California Penal Code Section 243-B states a charge of battery can be levied against a perpetrator who assaults, in this case slaps, a peace officer, code enforcement, or any civil local and state employee regardless of whether or not they are in the active commission of their post.
Battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,000 and or by imprisonment between six months to one year in a county facility. Typically when an assault occurs while the officer is on duty and it inhibits their ability to perform their job, the penalties can be more significant.
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