A woman allegedly slapped a deputy to kick her cigarette habit this week in Sacramento.
Etta Mae Lopez, 31, (pictured) wanting to trash the ash and knowing that health is wealth, gave Sacramento Sheriff's Deputy Matt Campoy a slap across his face in order to get herself booked into the Sacramento County Jail, officials said.
Campoy was able to accommodate her unorthodox method for smoking cessation, booking her into the smoke-free county jail on suspicion of battery on a peace officer.
Campoy said he was minding his own business, about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday when he exited the I Street main entrance of the main jail at the end of his watch. The area outside the jail is usually a mix of people, including family waiting to see imprisoned loved ones and inmates just-released from custody.
The uniformed deputy didn't think much of it when a woman approached into his path from his right side.
"I stepped the left, she stepped to my left," remembered Campoy. "I stepped to the right, she stepped to my right. I stepped to the left again and she suddenly stepped into me and slapped my face."
Campoy was stunned. The unexpected slap was a bit surreal, he said.
He grabbed Lopez' hands and put her into a control hold before guiding her into the jail lobby. When he was released the control hold to have her sit on a bench, she slapped his arm, he said.
Campoy handcuffed Lopez and got assistance from other deputies. He then took her back into the jail proper where Campoy said Lopez confided that the slap was meant to get his attention and hopefully lead to smoke-free incarceration.
"She knew that the only way to quit smoking was to go to jail because they don't allow tobacco in the jail," said Campoy. "She waited all day for a deputy to come out because she knew if she assaulted a deputy she would be go to jail and be inside long enough to quit her smoking habit."
Lopez also told deputies said she had been outside the jail waiting for a uniformed deputy to come by for so long that she got hungry and had to go get something to eat -- and then returned. Some officers exit the jail in civilian clothes, but Campoy changes out about a block away so he was uniformed.
"She wanted to make sure that who she struck was an officer,' said Campoy.
It's an unorthodox way to kick tobacco cravings to be sure, instead of using will-power or nicotine patches.
"I've been telling everybody that I have a new Irish name: Nick O'Derm," said Campoy.
Kidding aside, Campoy asks what would have happened if Lopez hadn't been arrested for slapping.
"What would be her next move? Would it be a little more injury? What level of assault would she take it to?" said Campoy. "We are hopeful she will be in jail for a long enough time to kick the habit or not want to assault anybody."