A Waco man accused of kidnapping a woman, taking her car and threatening to sell her to sex traffickers was arrested Sunday, Bellmead police Lt. Kory Martin said.

Joe Lopez, 23, was arrested after he got into a fight with a 26-year-old woman at a Bellmead apartment at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Martin said. The woman told Lopez she did not want him at her home and did not want to be in a relationship with him, but Lopez allegedly got angry and forced his way into her home, Martin said.

According to an arrest affidavit, Lopez grabbed the woman around the neck and choked her. The woman reported she thought Lopez would kill her as she lost her breath during the struggle, according to the affidavit.

"The victim then stated that Mr. Lopez told her that his uncle is in the cartel and that he is going to kidnap her and sell her for sex," the affidavit states. "The victim continued to state that Mr. Lopez told her that there is nothing he can do to stop his uncle from hurting her and her family, because it is out of his hands now."

Lopez prevented the woman from leaving the apartment or calling for help for about four hours, the affidavit states. She then asked Lopez for a cigarette, and when he stepped outside, she locked him out and was able to leave the apartment through a window, according to the document.

Martin said the woman ran to a neighbor's apartment for help. Lopez kicked in the woman's apartment door, took her keys and drove off in her car, according to the affidavit.

Waco police stopped Lopez in the woman's car at about 11 a.m. and arrested him on a state jail felony charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and a parole violation.

Bellmead police added a first-degree felony charge of burglary of a habitation, a third-degree felony charge of kidnapping and a felony charge of interference with an emergency call against Lopez. He remained in McLennan County Jail Tuesday night with bond listed at $110,000.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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