Manchester man charged with assaulting police dog, officers during church break-in

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MANCHESTER — A break-in at Our Lady of the Cedars Church led to a violent confrontation involving a police K9 and multiple law enforcement officers on the night of Nov. 12, authorities said.

Manchester police were dispatched to the church on Mitchell Street at about 9 p.m. following a triggered burglar alarm.

Upon arrival, the first officer on the scene noticed an individual, later identified as Paul Lopez, 36, banging on a window from inside the church.

Additional officers were called to the scene as Lopez, still inside, was heard screaming.

Despite officers announcing their presence and making multiple loudspeaker announcements, Lopez refused to surrender.

A New Hampshire State Trooper with a K9 unit arrived to assist, and despite warnings, Lopez continued to shout obscenities and did not comply with commands to exit the church.

When the K9 was deployed, Lopez grabbed the police dog and began strangling it.

The confrontation escalated, resulting in an officer being seriously bitten by Lopez, and both an officer and the trooper being assaulted by him.

After a struggle, law enforcement was able to subdue and arrest Lopez.

Lopez faces multiple charges, including Burglary, Second Degree Assault, Simple Assault, Animal Cruelty – Police Dogs or Horses, Resisting Arrest/Detention Serious Bodily Injury, and Resisting Arrest.

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