Man accused of offering officers $1,000 bribe in hopes of avoiding arrest

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Dario Lopez-Mendez

COLUMBUS, Ind. (April 6, 2016) – A man who was found drinking in a parking lot at the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office offered a $1,000 bribe to officer to let him go, police say.

On Monday, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Capt. Dave Steinkoenig and Capt. Brandon Slate noticed a man in a silver pickup truck sitting in the north lot of the Sheriff’s Office. They saw the man throw a beer can out of the truck. He then exited the truck and kicked beer cans into the street, police said.

Steinkoenig motioned for the man, later identified as Dario Lopez-Mendez, to get out of the truck; police said the man stumbled out as they approached. Steinkoenig found another beer can inside the truck.

Police tried to arrest the man, but Lopez-Mendez ran off. A brief chase and scuffle ensued in which Lopez-Mendez suffered a bump on the head and Steinkoenig suffered a cut on his elbow.

As the officers waited for EMS to arrive, Lopez-Mendez offered to pay $1,000 for the officers to let him go. He was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for evaluation and then transported to the Bartholomew County Jail.

Lopez-Mendez told the officers that he had been deported several times and was worried it would happen again if he was arrested. Preliminary charges against him include bribery, resisting law enforcement, false informing and public intoxication.

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