Police: Man broke into New Hampshire church, strangled K9, and bit officer

Local News

Paul Lopez, 36, of Manchester, New Hampshire, is facing multiple charges.

A New Hampshire man is facing multiple charges after police say he broke into a church this week and then allegedly strangled a police K9 and bit an officer who responded to the scene. 

Police in Manchester, New Hampshire, said officers responded to Our Lady of the Cedars Church on Mitchell Street around 9 p.m. on Sunday for a burglar alarm being activated. The first officer to arrive at the church saw an individual, later identified as 36-year-old Paul Lopez of Manchester, banging on a window from the inside. The officer then called more law enforcement to the scene. 

As the additional officers arrived, police said Lopez could be heard screaming inside the church and he allegedly did not comply with PA announcements from the officers at the scene, asking him to come out. The officers called in for K9 support, and a New Hampshire State Trooper arrived with a dog. 

“Lopez was given warnings that the dog was present, but he continued to yell and shout expletives, refusing to exit the building,” police said. 

The dog went into the building, and police said Lopez grabbed the animal and started strangling it. 

“Officers were eventually able to take Lopez into custody after significant difficulty, which led to one officer being seriously bitten by Lopez and an officer and trooper also being assaulted by him,” police said. 

Lopez was arrested and charged with burglary, second degree assault, simple assault, animal cruelty – police dogs or horses, resisting arrest/detention serious bodily injury, and resisting arrest.