January 8, 2014 —
CALLICOON CENTER, NY — On January 6, the Sullivan County Probation Department received a tip that a subject who was on probation may have been armed and holding his family captive at 673 Hessinger Lare Rd. in Callicoon Center. Sullivan County sheriff’s deputies went with probation officers to the location and reportedly found 40-year-old Benito Lopez in a highly intoxicated state.
Lopez, who was on probation for Felony DWI, had been holding his two children, ages 11 and 12, and their mother captive in the house since New Year’s eve. Deputies found that Lopez had taken all electronic devices, the car keys and disconnected the telephone in order to prevent them from calling for help or leaving.
The family members were allowed to use the Internet, and unknown to Lopez, his girlfriend was able to send a message via Facebook to alert a relative. Deputies did not find any weapons at the scene, but did find approximately 15 cases of empty beer cans.
Benito Lopez was charged with three counts of unlawful imprisonment and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Probation officers also charged him with violating the terms of his probation. Lopez was arraigned before Town of Callicoon Judge Ed McKenna and sent to the Sullivan County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.