George Lopez has been charged with criminal battery over an alleged fight in a Hooters restaurant last month.
The incident took place in Las Cruces, New Mexico back in October. In a video originally published by TMZ, Lopez went after a fan who was recording him against his will. Now, the Las Cruces Sun News reports that Lopez is facing a misdemeanor count for the scuffle.
The comedian will reportedly receive a criminal summons to Las Cruce Municipal Court over the fight. He may appear in court himself, though he also has the option of hiring an attorney to appear on his behalf. Lopez was in Las Cruces filming a movie called Walking with Herb at the time. After the incident, he told police he was provoked.
The whole thing took place at the Hooters at 3530 Foothills Road in Las Cruces on Sunday, Oct. 14. As the video shows, the alleged victim was waiting for Lopez to walk by, calling out after the clearly unenthusiastic actor.
"Here comes my boy George... Jorge Lopez," he said before turning the camera on Lopez.
Lopez then made a grab for the phone, trying to wrench it from the victim's hand. In addition, he allegedly pinched the back of the victim's neck, holding on and refusing to let go.
"He's a badass," the alleged victim said. "Look at him, he wants to fight me, he wants to fight me!"
Lopez and the man were physically separated, and the actor quickly left the restaurant. The next day, police visited Lopez in his trailer on the movie set, where he said that the lead-up to the encounter was not shown.
According to Lopez, he was at Hooters just "to watch the Rams game." The alleged victim ran up to Lopez, already recording. He threw his arm around the actor's shoulder without his consent and cried "MAGA," referencing President Donald Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again." Of course, Lopez has been an outspoken opponent of the president, so he did not appreciate this ambush.
Lopez claimed that in the second video, submitted to police and TMZ, he only reached for the phone to stop the man from filming him against his will any more. He said that the man was waiting intentionally for him to walk by, and he believed he wanted "to get him upset on camera because of his 'MAGA' statements."
The police report also includes the alleged victim's story. The man claimed that there was a first video, but said nothing about the president's catchphrase. Instead, he said that Lopez snatched his phone, recorded his own genitals, then deleted the video and returned the phone.
One of the men who separated Lopez and the man spoke to the Sun News but asked not to be identified.
"The video pretty much explains it, on what he did to that gentleman. I felt what he did was wrong by grabbing him by the throat. He didn't need to do that. Nobody should ever touch another person, no matter what," he said. "No matter what the case may be, he should've never grabbed him. That's disrespect to the gentleman that he grabbed. I don't even know the gentleman, I just happened to be right there. You should never lay hands on somebody else."