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Domestic dispute leads
to lockdown of schools

by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark reporter

A domestic disturbance initially reported as a possible abduction Monday led to the lockdown of Platte County R-3 elementary schools and charges of burglary and violating a protection order against a Platte County man.

The Platte County Sheriff's Department was called to the 19000 block of Humphrey's Road south of Platte City at approximately 12:48 p.m. on a report that an adult woman had been abducted from her place of residence. That report was made by the victim's sister.

Sheriff's officers discovered forced entry during their investigation, and received notice of a recent ex parte the victim had against John Lopez, 33.

The victim had filed an ex-parte on Sunday, Nov. 13 which stated that her estranged husband, John Lopez, was not to have any contact with her through any means.

Court documents allege that one day later John Lopez kicked in two doors at the residence. According to prosecutors, once inside, Lopez allegedly threatened the victim and her daughter's life before forcing her to leave with him.

According to the statement of probable cause filed with the court, Lopez kicked the door of this residence, entering by force with the intention of abducting his estranged wife. He took her by force with him and left the residence. He forced the victim to drive around with him.

Prosecutors say he threatened her with physical harm as well as her daughter's life. Court papers allege Lopez stated to the victim that he knew his actions were in violation of the ex-parte but did not care.

Court documents indicate Lopez said he has family ties to the Mexican cartel and said their bodies would never be found and he would flee to Mexico to avoid prosecution.

As first reported by The Landmark at Twitter.com/ivanfoley on Monday afternoon as the situation was unfolding, to ensure the safety of the victim's daughter who attends the Platte County R-3 School District, school officials locked down the elementary schools at the district's campus in Platte City.
Sheriff’s department officials say they coordinated with the Platte City Police Department and representatives of the Platte County R-3 School District to ensure the safety of the children at the school.

There was never a disturbance on campus and students were dismissed at their normal time. The schools were locked down shortly after 2 p.m., school officials told The Landmark.

According to court documents, detectives from the Platte County Sheriff's Office and the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department were able to obtain the victim's whereabouts from third party reports, as well as tracing the victim's cellular phone.

The victim and suspect were located at the Target near the Legends shopping center.

John Lopez was taken into custody without further incident and questioned by the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department.

The Platte County Prosecuting Attorney's Office charged John Lopez with second degree burglary and violation of an order of protection.

He is currently being held in the Platte County Detention Center on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

In an interview with The Landmark, Dr. Sarah Brammer, a Clinical Domestic Violence Program Manager with Synergy Services, said “An ex parte can be useful in certain situations. The best protection is have a safety plan.

“An ex parte is useful when the suspect respects the law,” explained Brammer.

It is possible for an ex parte to provide a false sense of protection, she said.
Synergy Services, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week took approximately 5,959 calls from families in crisis in 2010.