The man who was arrested after dragging his wife's dead body on a dolly in Staten Island, New York City - is reported to have strangled her to death. Anthony Lopez, 31, was arrested Saturday after neighbors saw him rolling around the shirtless body ofObiamaka Aduba, 26, the previous day. Aduba was his longtime girlfriend and the pair had a long history of violence, assistant district attorney Brooke Baranoski said during the arraignment Sunday according to the New York Daily News.
Lopez, who has been arrested more than 50 times in the past for drugs, grand larceny and criminal contempt, begged for methadone to relieve drug withdrawal symptoms. "He's in distress," his defense lawyer Philip Ohene, said according to the New York Daily News. Lopez pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and will remain held without bond until his next appearance in court.
He was seen after his arrest with a shaved head after trying to alter his appearance to escape police, according to authorities. But a Crime Stoppers tip-off led officers to an East Harlem neighborhood where Lopez was taken down by police and taken in for questioning after a brief chase Saturday. His neighbor saw him pushing a woman (picture above) - later identified as Aduba - on a dolly on Post Lane near Richmond Terrace early Friday morning. The woman, who was wrapped up in a thick sheet, showed signs of trauma.
"We're grieving very hard right now," Aduba's father told the New York Daily News on Sunday. 'I think I might have a stroke.'
Lopez allegedly abandoned Aduba's body after he was questioned by a plain clothed detective who recognized him from previous arrests. Investigators told NBC 4 New York they suspected Lopez was trying to dispose of the body after strangling Aduba. Lopez has a vast criminal history involving dozens of arrests for drugs, grand larceny and criminal contempt, while his Aduba is said to have been arrested 19 times. His past includes 52 arrests, including one for punching a former girlfriend in the face and one for robbing a victim of their cellphone at gunpoint.
The couple had a tumultuous relationship, with cops repeatedly visiting their home over the years, police sources said. A neighbour, Supreme Coleman, 30, said Lopez has psychiatric issues, smoked crack and abused his wife. “There’s something not right in his brain,” he said. “He was always hitting on her. She used to always have little lumps and bumps," he said.
Another neighbour Cherise Taylor said she saw the body after Lopez ran off as she was taking her kids to school. "I saw the body on the lawn. She was half naked. She didn't have a top. She was wearing pants. She was wrapped in an old curtain or something. He's a crackhead. We're just in shock it happened on our block. A lot of us are frantic and fearful."
In 2005, his brother, Joseph, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Gen. Douglas MacArthur Park in Dongan Hills. In 2007, when Lopez was 23, he punched his girlfriend in the face and locked himself in his house, officials said. Cops laid siege to the house for four hours before he was taken down by an NYPD K-9 unit.
In 2010, he was convicted of criminal contempt, and was sent to prison. He got out in July 2012. In 2014, he was arrested for gunpoint robbery of a cell phone on in Tompkinsville. He allegedly kicked and punched his 27-year-old victim repeatedly. Lopez had a hypodermic needle in his pocket when cops caught up to him, officials said.
His wife Obiamaka Aduba, had been arrested 19 times, sources said. Lopez posted an image to his Facebook page in 2012 of an ID card he used while he was incarcerated. "Did some time, I'm tryna get my life together," he wrote. "I have a daughter and must take care of … Don't get it twisted. I'm not proud of the time I did. I posted the picture because I got nothing to hide."
In February, he posted a picture of his back with what appears to be scars from knife wounds.