Police in Manchester, New Hampshire, arrived at Our Lady of the Cedars Church on Sunday, November 12, 2023, around 9:00 p.m. to investigate after the church's alarm went off.
The first officer arriving on the scene witnessed a man banging on a window from inside the church. Police said the man continued screaming as more police showed up at the church. The officers identified themselves and repeatedly asked the man to come outside, but the man refused to follow the officer's directions and was swearing at them.
A New Hampshire State Trooper and the trooper's K-9 dog were called in for backup, and the police dog was sent into the church. The police told the man that the dog was in the building and he needed to come out, but he still refused. The K-9 dog Ivy was deployed, and the man was able to grab the police dog and began to strangle it. Police said K-9 Ivy appeared to be unable to breathe as her body was flailing and her mouth was closed. The suspect also punched the dog at least once.
After a struggle, the officers were able to arrest the man. One of the officers suffered a serious bite from the suspect, and another officer, along with the state trooper, was also assaulted by the suspect.
The suspect, Paul Lopez, 36, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was charged with burglary, animal cruelty of police dogs or horses, simple assault, resisting arrest and detention, serious bodily injury, and second-degree assault.