Ivan Dario Lopez of
Springdale detectives were tipped about Lopez by Jim Pierce, a city code enforcement officer, who visited the Lopez home regarding an alleged code violation and stated the home was sparsely furnished in such a way that the occupants could "pick up and leave" in five minutes. Don’t tell me that
Arresting officer Barrios said he suspects Lopez is part of a band of Hispanic gypsies; “this guy denies being one, but the evidence points otherwise." Officer Barrios is just making this up to reinforce prejudice and stereotypes, because Roma (gypsies) are not Hispanic.
Police said they found a Spanish flier advertising tarot card readings, health and money cures, romantic bindings and other spiritual services. The flier was titled "Buda Fe," translated as Buddha Faith. This should have been a clear warning to the highly-trained
As Judge Richard Arnold said in Argello V. City of Lincoln, 143 F.3d 1152 (8th Cir. 1998), “if citizens wish to have their fortunes told, or to believe in palm- reading or phrenology, they are free to do so under our system of government, and to patronize establishments or "professionals" who purport to be versed in such arts. Government is not free to declare certain beliefs - for example, that someone can see into the future - forbidden. Citizens are at liberty to believe that the earth is flat, that magic is real, and that some people are prophets.” This applies equally to the bad luck cures or fortunetelling of Ivan Lopez as it does to the pitch for life everlasting or claims for creationism of Ronnie Floyd. Theft by deception charges cannot be sustained against either.
Police have a lame back-up charge with which to persecute Lopez; they claim he had no business license on file with the city of
So why must we endure such nonsense? An answer comes from the center of enlightenment, Livingston Parish,