Man strangles police dog and bites officer in church break-in, New Hampshire cops say

A man accused in a church break-in strangled a police dog and bit an officer sent in to arrest him, police in New Hampshire say.

Paul Lopez, 36, of Manchester is facing multiple charges including burglary, animal cruelty and second-degree assault, according to the Manchester Police Department.

Officers arrived at about 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, after a burglar alarm went off at the Our Lady of the Cedars Church, police said in a Nov. 15 news release.

The first officer at the scene spotted a man, later identified as Lopez, pounding on a window from inside the building, according to the release.

Authorities said Lopez continued screaming as more officers arrived. Despite repeated commands to come outside, police said Lopez refused and instead yelled expletives at them.

By this time, a K-9 officer and a New Hampshire state trooper were called in for backup, police said. When the police dog was sent inside, authorities said Lopez grabbed it and “began to strangle the animal.”

“It appeared K9 Ivy was unable to breathe as her body was flailing and her mouth was closed,” police said in an affidavit, according to WMUR. Lopez was also accused of punching the dog at least once, the station reported.

Officers arrested him after a brief struggle, which ended with one officer being “seriously bitten,” police said in the release. A second officer and a state trooper were reportedly also assaulted by Lopez, police said.

Authorities didn’t identify a motive for the incident, and the K-9’s condition wasn’t known as of Nov. 16.

Manchester is about 20 miles southeast of Concord.

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