Just over two weeks after federal agents arrested nearly every single top official of the tiny town of Crystal City, TX, Mayor Ricardo Lopez was arrested yet again—this time, by his own police department. The mayor was attending the first city council meeting since the first arrest when the cops cuffed him.
The circumstances surrounding Lopez’s arrest are pretty confusing. According to local news outlet KSAT, he stormed out of last night’s council meeting over a disagreement over when he should resign as mayor. (Petitioners voted to recall him and other officials after the first arrest.) At some point, KSAT reports, he began ordering cops to arrest a woman who “touched him earlier.” No elaboration is given about what sort of touch we’re talking about here.
A woman—the same woman? a different woman?—told KSAT that Lopez then pushed her while arguing with police, and that’s why he was cuffed. He was charged with resisting arrest, police said, and may also face charges of assault and disorderly conduct.
Lopez was indicted the first time around on charges of corruption related to a gambling ring. The town’s city manager, mayor pro tempore, a councilman, and a former councilman were all arrested in the federal sting, and a second councilman was arrested in an unrelated bust about a month before that. Crystal City, population 7,500, had only three city council members to begin with.
One small aside: while the iconography of the San Antonio-area town’s official seal almost certainly has no bearing on Mayor Lopez’s alleged conduct, I’m going to show you a picture of it anyway. KSAT’s cameras captured the following image as Lopez left the meeting the first time.
Pretty cool official seal.
“Only in Crystal City,” the mayor told reporters as he was being escorted out. Indeed.
The council meeting has been rescheduled for this evening.