Victims Question Why Alleged Attacker Of Two People Days Apart Was Released

A man accused of attacking an 8-year-old in Sacramento was released from jail this week, and some were wondering why after he allegedly attacked a woman just days before.

Video Transcript

- We begin tonight with an alleged serial attacker arrested and released only to assault someone again. Among the victims, an eight-year-old boy visiting a Sacramento donut shop with his mother.

- And tonight, a new victim is speaking out. CBS 13's Velena Jones live in Sacramento getting answers on why this guy was allowed to walk free. Velena.

VELENA JONES: Yeah, well not one attack but two. In just a matter of days, one of those attacks happened right here in the shopping center. That's the frustration tonight. The victims believe that this man is homeless. But they say the reason why he was released just isn't good enough.

ANGEL CERVANTES: Just feels like the city is not really concerned about our safety.

VELENA JONES: Angel Cervantes concerned with the lack of action after he says his wife was walking into a doctor's appointment when a stranger strongarmed her.

ANGEL CERVANTES: He just randomly rushed her, attacked her, threw her, against the rail, held her there until luckily one of the workers came out.

VELENA JONES: Cervantes found the man hours later near the same location and called police.

ANGEL CERVANTES: We pressed charges just so this-- if this happened, you know, at least it would deter it to happen again.

VELENA JONES: The problem is it didn't help. Sacramento police caught 53-year-old Richard Lopez citing him for battery and transported him to receive health services. Two days later, he allegedly assaulted an eight-year-old boy on the same street near Freeport in Bidwell.

ANGEL CERVANTES: He was released, not only the first time when my wife's attacked, but the second time with this eight-year-old boys attacked? I'm just in my head. I'm like what more needs to happen for somebody to do something about this?

VELENA JONES: We asked Sacramento County DA's office why Lopez was released. Their answer-- COVID protocols.

- He should be off the streets because he's violent.

VELENA JONES: I spoke to the eight-year-old's mother who did not want to be identified earlier this week.

- Yeah, it's crazy that he got out. And again, it's another nuanced issue with COVID. But at the same time, like, this guy has a record-- come on.

VELENA JONES: Court records show Lopez has multiple prior arrests for battery. Tonight, he's in jail again after missing a court date. His alleged victim say he shouldn't have had the chance to hurt someone else.

ANGEL CERVANTES: I get COVID going on. It's a dangerous, you know, virus. But, I mean, that shouldn't trump criminals in our safety.

VELENA JONES: Now, luckily, Cervantes' wife was not injured in that attack. The DA's office tells me, they requested a higher bail at more than $200,000. Lopez is scheduled to be back in court tomorrow.