The prisoner who went for a cup of coffee and escaped

On September 18, 1991, at 9 in the morning, the newsroom of La Vanguardia on Pelai Street looked almost deserted.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
25 August 2023 Friday 10:23
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The prisoner who went for a cup of coffee and escaped

On September 18, 1991, at 9 in the morning, the newsroom of La Vanguardia on Pelai Street looked almost deserted. Only Marta Ricart was already at that time at her work table. Another editor's phone was ringing off the hook and he got up to take the call. "With Domingo Marchena, please." "He's not here, he'll be here later." "Okay, tell him that Lopecito called him." "Who, excuse me?" "Lopecito, the delinquent".

That day, on page 32, the absent journalist had published Lopecito's umpteenth lollipop, his latest hoax: an unusual escape from La Modelo, to which he returned to serve the yeye, a sentence of two years, four months and one day. . He was a regular at events, always for scams. He never used violence, although because of him a policeman shot himself in save the part. Let's get back to the call.

Lopecito, who was 47 years old at the time, could have asked about Santi Tarín or Francesc Peirón, but he asked who he asked for. He wanted to congratulate you on the exclusive on his escape. He had been in the Barcelona prison for nine days (nine!) When he got himself a white jacket and a tray, he headed for the front door, looked at the Civil Guard and put on his best waiter's smile…

"I'm going to get a little coffee for the director," he said. And she left. Through the front door, like bullfighters in their best tasks. When the officials did the routine count, one prisoner was missing. Someone at the main entrance then asked: "Hey, has the one with the little coffee come back?" Lopecito, also nicknamed the Pirulero for obvious reasons, was arrested weeks later after a rough car chase through Sabadell.

When he was still in search and capture, he called the journalist again to meet for coffee. Total, what could go wrong? She had only broken a sentence, she had pissed off the Civil Guard and all the Zetas in the city had her photo with a warning: "Don't let her talk, she'll mess you up." The journalist thought that his protagonist would want a meeting in a bar far from the center of the city and that he would come dressed up.

"No man no. We meet in a little bar on Avenida de la Llum, in front of the newspaper, that you will have a job”. Lopecito had not shaved his characteristic mustache. He wasn't wearing sunglasses or a spy's trench coat, either. His only concession to his dissimulation was a mechanic's overalls, which he wore rolled up and his hands smeared with grease. Who would notice a worker running an errand?

His real nickname was not Lopecito, although it sounded similar. The initials of his name are J.O.M., but I prefer not to give his name and cover his eyes because everyone should aspire to what justice calls the right to be forgotten. He was a complete scoundrel and he recognized it. The day they explained honesty at school, he didn't go to class. But the day they explained what sincerity consists of, he got an honors degree.

It was a great evening. "I'm a criminal," she said by way of introduction. We are talking about mutual friends, in particular the long-awaited lawyer Juan Antonio Roqueta, who will reappear in the next installment of this series because he was a legal wizard and a leading figure in that Barcelona that will never return. Roqueta, Roqui, for his friends, also believed at that time that Lopecito was part of the past, a shadow that traveled on a shipwrecked ship.

Roqui was his lifelong lawyer. He once defended him so well that at the end of the trial, and with the court still in the courtroom, Lopecito told him: "Holy crap, if for a moment I even believed that he was innocent!" Lollipops like this are almost gone. They were replaced by a generation of white-collar chorizos who will never admit that they are, and who in a single hit steal a thousand times more than a thousand Lopecitos in their entire career.

The outrages of this rogue seem tender compared to the hits, corruption and financial engineering. He, who was so cold in his childhood, discovered his art when he was a child and fell in love with a fur coat. To the owner, who was short of money, he said: “In this bar they buy used clothes. I'll sell it to you, wait for me outside”. The bar had two exit doors and the one in the coat is still waiting.

Dario Fo says that all kinds of people enter a police station: “Scammers, thieves, pedophiles, rapists. Even policemen!" That's what Lopecito thought, who made no distinctions when it came to scamming. His favorite victims were many times the policemen who arrested him. He promised to lead some to a major drug gang if they released him. And they stung.

He was a fine stylist. When the same officers he rounded up again stopped him, he assured them that he could lead them to the Porsche, on a search for the murder of a police officer. When officers stormed the listed address and yelled for the Porsche, the Porsche, a terrified retiree told them, "Sorry, I only have a 127."

A policeman lost his nerve and involuntarily fired his weapon. The bullet ricocheted off the ground and embedded itself in her buttocks. Years ago, a shooting instructor still taught novices to put the safety with these words: "Don't make me a Lopecito." I do not know anything about him. If he is alive, he will be 79 years old. I imagine him retired, surrounded by grandchildren and telling war stories. He didn't need much for a great story. With a tray and a jacket he already had enough.

Another version of this text was published on our website on Friday, September 10, 2021.