A Minneapolis police officer is facing a felony charge after an alcohol-fueled domestic dispute in which he's accused of threatening to shoot his sister-in-law.
Officer James J. Lopez was charged with "threats of violence" in Ramsey County Friday.
According to the criminal complaint, St. Paul police were called to the 55-year-old's home on Monday night, where they learned the defendant had been drinking and arguing with his wife.
The sister-in-law, who's identified only as "KMK," was visiting from out of town. At the time of the alleged threat, she was waiting for her sister to finish packing her things so they could leave the house for the night.
According to what she told the responding officers, Lopez pointed his finger at KMK "as if he was holding a gun," and said, “I don’t care where you go, St. Paul or Seattle, I’ll be hiding in the bushes and I’ll shoot you."
"She stated that she was frightened," and reported to the police that Lopez is a cop who owns guns, the charges say.
Both Lopez's wife and father-in-law backed up KMK's claims. His wife also told authorities that Lopez "put a gun to her head" a year ago, saying she did not report the incident "because [Lopez] threatened to kill her if she ever called the police."
On Thursday, Lopez's wife got an emergency protection order against her husband, court documents say.
The Minneapolis Police Department told GoMN it can't comment due to the open investigation, but added that Lopez "has been relieved of duty."
Other legal problems
This is not the only legal trouble Lopez is facing – and it's also not the first time he's made the news.
As the charges note, he was convicted for DWI in Scott County last year.
The Star Tribune reported on the incident at the time, saying Lopez was also charged with a misdemeanor "because he refused to submit to a preliminary breath test."