A case of public urination took a violent turn when a reportedly drunk man was told by a bystander to stop relieving himself in front of a crowd of bus passengers. The urinator allegedly responded by launching a potentially lethal assault.
In November 2017, Salvador Gomez-Lopez allegedly began to relieve himself before a group of bystanders at a bus stop in Montgomery County, Maryland. One man, whose name has not been disclosed, approached him and told him to cease exposing himself, pull up his pants, and use a restroom, WJLA reported.
The 46-year-old Gomez-Lopez allegedly responded by pulling a box cutter from his backpack and attacking the interloper. The two men engaged in a struggle and fell to the pavement. The victim sustained deep stabs and lacerations to his face, neck and stomach before managing to gain control of the box cutter.
Montgomery County police were called to the scene and found the victim with grisly slashes across his body. The still-conscious victim and another bystander pointed officers to Gomez-Lopez and recounted the alleged sequence of events. The victim reportedly survived his injuries, but there has been no update on his condition.
Police said that Gomez-Lopez was belligerent, allegedly intoxicated, and provided authorities with a fake name during questioning. He is currently being held on $5,000 bond and will face trial in the Montgomery County Circuit Court in April. He will be represented by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender.
A judge had originally called Gomez-Lopez’s case but the defendant was not present.
Gomez-Lopez has been charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, public intoxication and possession of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure. If convicted, he could be sentenced to prison for up to 38 years.
On Feb. 6, Immigration and Customs Enforcement disclosed that Gomez-Lopez had been living in the U.S. illegally. The agency issued an immigration detainer against the suspect.
An ICE spokesperson disclosed that Gomez-Lopez was already a fugitive before the assault.
Gomez-Lopez is reportedly from El Salvador and the father of two children. He had been working part-time in maintenance jobs.
Some Twitter users expressed concern about immigration in responding to the story, while others took umbrage with the focus on Gomez-Lopez’s background.
“To call illegal aliens ‘immigrants’ is an insult to all immigrants who have ever immigrated legally,” tweeted one reader. “Get your terminology straight. The illegals are dangerous and this is another example of why they need to go back to their own countries.”
“I wonder if you put this much emphasis on ethnicity/documentation for other crimes because I don’t remember ‘white’ in the headline of the story about the 15yr old boy who shot up his school,” said another.