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Not guilty plea made in child-neglect case

March 08, 2013|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

A reputed gang member pleaded not guilty this week to charges that he reportedly failed to properly care for his ill 2-year-old son.

Eric Lopez, 32, of El Monte appeared Thursday via video conferencing in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Glendale, where he was ordered to stay away from and have no contact with his son, according to court officials said.

He is charged with one felony count of possessing methamphetamine and a misdemeanor count of child endangerment, according to a criminal complaint.

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When officers arrested Lopez just after midnight Tuesday, they noticed his son had defecated on himself and smelled like vomit, police said. The boy was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Officers were concerned about Lopez's son because he was not properly dressed for the night's cold weather.

They initially stopped Lopez after spotting him pushing his son in a shopping cart near Adams Street and Lomita Avenue.

Officers found 10 small plastic packages containing methamphetamine inside Lopez's pants pocket, according to police.

His bail was set at $15,000, court officials said.

Lopez is scheduled to appear March 18 in court for an early disposition hearing. A preliminary hearing was also set for March 28.

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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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