After public outcry, Feds nab illegal immigrant who harassed Milford teen

Detroit Free Press – by Laura Colvin

An illegal immigrant who was reportedly drunk when he harassed a 13-year-old girl in downtown Milford on Sunday was taken into federal custody and will likely be deported.

Elias Lopez, 43, was arrested just before 1 p.m. Wednesday at MiZarape Mexican Restaurant, 131 S. Milford Road, where he was employed as a cook.  

Milford Police were on the scene to assist U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The arrest took place without incident; officers were reportedly in and out of the restaurant within five minutes.

“I’m very proud ICE did the right thing,” said Milford Police Chief Tom Lindberg, noting a story published Tuesday generated significant public attention and “a lot of negative comments,” after Milford Times reported ICE initially declined to pick up Lopez following Sunday’s incident.

“I think the community will appreciate that (ICE) came out to get him,” Lindberg added. “We don’t want this person lurking around Milford. I wanted him out of here.”

‘Come with me’

The incident in downtown Milford unfolded about 7 p.m. Sunday. A 13-year-old resident of the village told officers she was walking on Main Street near Liberty when the man yelled to her in Spanish from across the street, then crossed over and approached her.

The teen said the man told her “come with me” twice, tried to hand her five $20 bills and attempted to grab her arm. At that point, the girl said she ran to a friend’s home, where she arrived “extremely upset, crying and nearly hyperventilating.”

Officers who responded to a 911 call located Lopez in the area and noted he was intoxicated and had urinated on himself. According to a police report, he blew a preliminary breath test of .19 percent – more than twice the .08 percent legal limit for driving in Michigan.

Lopez was positively identified by the teen.

The report also said officers notified ICE officials after discovering Lopez was in the country illegally. After ICE declined pick up, Lopez was cited for disorderly person and released.

On Tuesday, Lindberg said he was “extremely disappointed” about the initial response from ICE, and said officers had no choice but to release Lopez at that point.

“We’re actually obligated to treat (an illegal immigrant) same as everyone else,” Lindberg said Tuesday. “We can’t detain them any longer than we could detain anyone else.”


On Wednesday morning, however, police received word the Department of Homeland Security had issued an administrative warrant for Lopez, and that agents were headed to Milford to pick him up.

An agent from ICE did not immediately return a call seeking comment after the arrest, but Lindberg said Lopez would likely be lodged at Wayne County Jail to await an administrative hearing before likely deportation.

Lindberg said Milford Police have not had complaints about any other employees at MiZarape.

“Not a single one,” he said. “I don’t even think we’ve had a call for service from the restaurant.”

A man who identified him as a supervisor at MiZarape said he was at the restaurant when officers arrived, but didn’t know Lopez well and wasn’t able to comment on whether the company knew he was in the U.S. illegally or not. A more knowledgeable manager was expected at work later Wednesday evening, he said.

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Contact Laura Colvin can be reached at, 248-390-7396 or Twitter: @MilfordReporter

2 thoughts on “After public outcry, Feds nab illegal immigrant who harassed Milford teen

  1. “We’re actually obligated to treat (an illegal immigrant) same as everyone else,” Lindberg said Tuesday.”

    “Everyone else” would have been charged with felony attempted rape, so what the hell happened in this case?

    If that had been YOUR daughter, @sswipe, that POS probably wouldn’t have lived out the day.

  2. Almost had to ventilate a few of those wetbacks again today just pulling in my driveway as they like to congregate on the sidewalk and block it. They’re not here anyway as far as I am concerned so nothing happened and no life would be lost if they don’t really exist imho. Every day, the same stupid wetbacks don’t understand but some day they’ll get it. Some day. .mf’s.

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