La Salle man charged after incidents at two La Salle churches

Man told officer he wanted to burn the church, police said

A La Salle man could face up to a year in jail if convicted of misdemeanor offenses filed after a pair of Sept. 25 incidents at two La Salle churches.

Troy Lopez, 31, of 1428 Argyle Road, was charged earlier this week with resisting a peace officer, a Class A misdemeanor carrying up to a year, plus lesser offenses of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

La Salle police issued reports Friday disclosing the events leading up to the filing of charges. Police first were dispatched at 2:20 p.m. Sept. 25 to St. Hyacinth’s Church in reference to a man who had allegedly stolen religious artifacts from the church and then fled on foot.

“A short time later La Salle officers located Troy Lopez in the 1100 block of Hennepin (Street) being detained by several citizens,” police said. “Troy was taken into custody and all religious artifacts were recovered and returned to the church.”

The church was found undamaged but police located multiple items that had been disturbed or moved around by Lopez. Lopez was issued a city ordinance citation for intoxicated pedestrian, a trespass warning for all Catholic churches in La Salle and released pending further investigation.

However, 3½ hours later police were dispatched to St. Patrick’s Church in La Salle in reference to a man who was “acting strange and lit a cigarette lighter within the church.” The man, later identified as Lopez, was confronted by several parishioners and then fled the church on foot. Officers located Lopez in the 700 block of Gooding Street and short foot pursuit ensued. Officers caught up with Lopez and “he struggled with officers before being taken into custody,” police said.

“Lopez advised an officer that he wanted to burn the church,” police said.

Lopez, who is wanted for a missed court date for a previously-filed misdemeanor count, did not immediately respond to messages left via a listed number or through social media.