$1.5 million bond set for man accused of striking two judicial marshals with car

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The man who police say ran down two judicial marshals with his car while fleeing from a Manchester courthouse has been charged Wednesday.

RELATED: Man wanted in Manchester hit-and-run that left 2 judicial marshals injured

Jose Lopez, 42, of Springfield, Mass. is being held on a $1.5 million bond.

Dozens of marshals filled the courtroom gallery in a show of support for the injured marshals. One of the marshals hit, Sgt. Michael West, 59, was seen in the courtroom walking with a limp.

News 8’s Sabina Kuriakose has confirmed Friday that another injured marshal, Martin Brown, 60, has regained consciousness since the incident. He was previously listed in critical condition. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support Brown and his family.

Joe Gaetano, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 731 president said of Brown, “He…seems to be getting better day by day so we’re going to leave it at that…Very hopeful.”

Jose Lopez mug shot – Photo: CT State Police

Lopez’s family was in court, too. His mother, Minerva, told News 8 she would like to extend an apology to the marshals and their families: “We’re very sorry. We’re praying for the marshal and his family.”

She says her son regrets what happened, but claims more information will come out in court.

Police say, Monday Lopez was in court about to face a judge on a shoplifting charge, but when marshals went to detain him, Lopez ran out the door into the parking lot. That’s when he ran two of the judicial marshals down with his car. All of it was caught on security cameras police are now reviewing.

Investigators say Lopez confessed to accelerating when the officers tried to stop him from leaving. Lopez, court documents say, did not look back.

Tuesday, Massachusetts police apprehended Lopez around 5:20 a.m. at a motel in Chicopee.

He was extradited back to Connecticut and is currently at Hartford Correctional Center.

Lopez faces assault and other charges.

Gaetano and retired officers tell News 8 they don’t recall the last time a judicial marshal was injured so severely in the line of duty.

In a statement to News 8 Tuesday, Gaetano – the union that represents the state’s judicial marshals – thanked the state police of both Conn. and Mass. for tracking and capturing the suspect, and addressed arming marshals so they can better do their jobs.

Security at the state’s 40 courthouses is an ongoing concern. It’s time for the Judicial Branch to give the marshals who work in the courthouses every day, who know the routines, the staff and the buildings, the tools they need to do their job. It’s time to arm trained and qualified judicial marshals to allow them to protect the public and ensure the work of the Judicial Branch is conducted safely for all involved.

We again send our best wishes to our injured brother for a full and speedy recovery.

Joe Gaetano/ President of IBPO Local 731

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