Metro officer, K9 injured while apprehending woman who broke into South Nashville church

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)– On Thursday night, staff members of Christ For The Nations Church began receiving alerts on their phones that motion had been detected on their security cameras.

When Associate Director of Outreach and Worship, Joe Hemphill, looked at the video feed, he saw a woman inside the sanctuary with a tablecloth or blanket tied around her neck.

“My buddy, who is on staff with me, texts me and goes, ‘hey, who’s the person in the cape on stage?’ And I was like, goodness this is not good,” Hemphill said.

Mero Police say the woman inside was 37-year-old Bonnie McLemore. She shattered a window on the side of the building to get into the church.

“She moved a bunch of stuff around. The hallways were kind of a mess, but nothing was like really damaged or broken other than the window she came through,” Hemphill said.

When Metro Police arrived on scene, they told McLemore to surrender or a police dog would be entering the building. A press release says McLemore then placed a chair in the window to block the canine team from coming inside the building.

After making several announcements over a loudspeaker a Metro Police Canine team, Otto and Officer Austin Bass, made their way through the broken window. Once inside, McLemore tried to stab Otto in the neck with a pair of scissors, but she was quickly restrained and taken into custody.

Both canine team members received cuts from broken glass. Officer Bass received stitches in his hand and K9 Otto was treated at a local veterinarian hospital for a laceration to one of his paws.

“She was doing something she shouldn’t have done and I hate that it had to go this way, or it went this way, but maybe the Lord can use this in her life as part of her story. And I’d love to see year or months from now a redeemed individual,” Hemphill said.

McLemore drove to the church in a Dodge Charger that she admitted to stealing earlier on Thursday from McNally Drive. She remains in jail on $42,000 bond on burglary, auto theft, aggravated animal cruelty and vandalism charges.

Hemphill says there was minimal damage to the church building.

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