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Columbia County Deputy Fired & Arrested After Domestic Dispute

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Deputy Gilbert Lopez of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office was arrested Tuesday and charged with disorderly conduct following a domestic dispute with his wife. The altercation resulted in Lopez’s termination from the sheriff’s office.

The incident, which unfolded at the Lopez residence in Evans, began when Deputy Lopez returned home with items belonging to his wife, who had been previously terminated from her job at a local home health care company. According to reports from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, tensions escalated when Deputy Lopez discovered a name and phone number in a Rolodex belonging to his wife, which he claimed belonged to a past male acquaintance.

In his statement to authorities, the 55-year-old deputy admitted to becoming upset upon discovering the contact information.

“Gilbert told (his wife) to get her stuff out of his vehicle and during a verbal altercation, he told her to take that male’s card out of the Rolodex,” the report says. “Gilbert admitted that he picked up the Rolodex and threw it, and it struck (her) in the chest. He said he did not intentionally throw it at her. He threw it because he was upset and the Rolodex was caught in his hand when he threw it and it accidentally stuck (her) in the chest. He said (she) became upset and went back inside the residence, went to the upstairs bedroom and locked the door because she claimed she was afraid o f him.”

The victim, however, recounted a different version of events, alleging that her husband had intentionally thrown the Rolodex at her, causing injury to her cheek and neck.

The altercation intensified as Deputy Lopez attempted to gain access to the bedroom where his wife had sought refuge, allegedly kicking the door in an effort to enter, a sheriff’s report says. Both of the couple’s children were present in the residence during the altercation. While one of them claimed to have only heard the verbal exchange, the other said he witnessed his father’s attempts to breach the bedroom door.

As a result of the incident, Deputy Gilbert Lopez was transported to Columbia County Detention Center and issued a county ordinance citation for disorderly conduct. Deputy Lopez has been dismissed from his position within the sheriff’s office.

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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