Pennsylvania man jailed after breaking into a church to search for his missing cat

A York County, Pennsylvania man was so upset about his missing cat that he created a situation that has left him jailed on $100,000 bond on several charges. It’s not a good idea to break in anywhere, especially a church, if your cat goes missing. No one has posted news as to whether the cat has turned up or remains missing.

man arrested
O’Neill broke into a church and damaged property (mugshot)
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Paul Robert O’Neill, 45, of Maple Hill Drive caused damage to a Newberry Township church on May 3 when he broke into Slavic Baptist near his home to search for the cat.  O’Neill went so far as to warn a member of the church that the church would be in “big trouble” if his cat was found on the property.

Newberry Township Police responded to a call at 10:18 p.m. Friday night about a suspicious person being on the property. Lyudmila Kolesnik, a church member, told police that O’Neill had entered the annex building and began yelling about his missing cat.

According to documents, as O’Neill left the property he kicked a hole in a door outside the building. Surveillance footage showed O’Neill entered the chapel through an open window. He damaged several locked doors during his search.

Police had returned to the scene on Saturday to speak with church members when O’Neill started a fire next to his screened in porch to distract police. He faces charges of burglary, criminal trespass, institutional vandalism at a place of worship, disorderly conduct and loitering and prowling at night.

As of Monday, O’Neill remains in the York County Prison under $100,000 bond. He has a preliminary hearing before District Judge Scott J. Gross scheduled for May 17. He has admitted to setting the fire to create a diversion for police.

Sources 1 and 2

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