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'Stabber' was upset about stolen shirt

Posted: Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Ryan Antonio Lopez

Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — The man accused of stabbing a 24-year-old woman with a letter opener was behaving erratically in the moments before and after he was arrested last weekend, according to eyewitness accounts of the incident.

When an Alamosa County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene on May 4, he noticed that a Colorado State Patrol trooper was struggling with a man who appeared to be having a seizure. However, an emergency medical technician who examined the man believed the suspect was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and a subsequent breath test confirmed he had been drinking.

At first, the man identified himself as “Shawn Black.”

But the trooper had reason to doubt that the man was telling him the truth. According to the trooper’s report, the name “LOPEZ” is clearly tattooed onto the nape of the man’s neck.

The name stood out to the trooper, so he tried again to verify the suspect’s true identity.

Once again, the man reported his name was Shawn Black. But the sheriff’s office positively identified him as 30-year-old Ryan Antonio Lopez.

The suspect declined to waive his Miranda rights after the sheriff’s office took him into custody for aggravated first-degree assault and criminal impersonation. As a result, the official report on the incident does not include his version of what allegedly happened that evening.

However, deputies were able to piece a report together based on the statements of three other people who were traveling in the same vehicle.

One of those people, victim Amber Garcia, reported that Lopez was angry because he believed someone had stolen his shirt.

It’s unclear if Lopez thought Garcia had anything to do with the shirt’s disappearance.

Other details of the moments leading up to the alleged stabbing are also fuzzy, but all three witnesses alleged that Lopez stabbed Garcia.

The victim, who was sitting in the front passenger seat at the time, reported she was hit in the neck and on the back of her head. At some point, she blacked out, and she said she could not remember what happened next.

But the driver of the vehicle and a third passenger both reported that Lopez stabbed Garcia with a blade of some kind.

The driver said he stopped the car and tried to defend Garcia, as Lopez continued to jab the blade in her direction.

When Garcia woke up, she realized she’d been stabbed on the right side of her chest.

Paramedics who arrived at the scene rushed her to the emergency room at San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center.

The attending nurse reported that Garcia had been stabbed in the neck and the chest. The blade punctured one of her lungs, which collapsed.

A physician who treated Garcia determined she sustained serious bodily injury as a result of the alleged attack.

Lopez remains in custody on a $150,000 cash or surety bond. He is scheduled to appear in Alamosa County Court on May 13 for a return filing of charges.

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