SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Bond has been denied for a Summerville police officer after he was arrested for trying to break into a home on Friday morning.
Lt. Nicholas Morella was charged with first degree burglary. A bond hearing was held Saturday morning in the Dorchester County Magistrate Court, according to Dorchester County spokesperson Richard Carson.
Officers responded to a call for service at a house in the 300 block of Crossandra Avenue concerning Morella trying to get into the house, according to Summerville police spokesman Thomas Peterson.
A woman inside the house armed herself with a gun, hid in a closet with her child and waited for police to arrive, Peterson said.
Summerville police say Morella got into the house and continued to knock on interior doors calling out for the victim.
When officers arrived on scene and confirmed it was one of their own officers involved, the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office took over the investigation.
Morella was immediately placed on administrative leave without pay pending an internal investigation, Peterson said.
An arrest warrant states the incident started on Friday at 3 a.m. when Morella contacted the victim numerous times, and the victim initially did not respond.
Authorities state that when the suspect asked the victim for the door code, the victim told the suspect to not come to her home, and the victim said she would call the police if he came over.
Court records state the suspect disregarded the message and broke into the home.
The suspect was then located inside the home by Summerville police, and said he had the code to the door.
“The victim had locked herself and a minor child in a closet, while armed with a firearm,” an arrest warrant stated.
In addition, investigators said there were multiple voice mail messages and visible damage to the rear entry door frame.