A Summerville police lieutenant was suspended Friday after authorities said he forced his way into a woman's residence.

Officials placed Lt. Nicholas Morella on administrative leave without pay after an incident at a home on Croassandra Avenue near Narcissus Street.

Morella, 47, will face one count of first-degree burglary, according to the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the case.

Documents did not state how the two knew each other. 

Summerville police were called about 3 a.m. Friday by a 41-year-old woman who reported that Morella was attempting to force his way into her home.

The lieutenant contacted the victim "numerous times" early Friday but the victim did not initially respond, according to an arrest warrant. Morella also asked the woman for her door code.

"The victim advised the defendant if he came over, she would contact the police," the warrant stated. "The defendant (disregarded) this, went to the victim's residence and broke into the residence."

Police said Morella was able to enter and knocked on an interior door while calling for the woman.

The woman, armed with a firearm, hid in a closet with her child until police arrived.

Investigators found damage to the rear door frame at the victim's residence, the warrant stated.

Morella was booked into the Dorchester County Detention Center.

He was recently promoted to the rank of lieutenant, according to a March 12 post on the Summerville Police Department's Facebook page.

Gregory Yee contributed to this report.

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Reach Angie Jackson at 843-937-5705. Follow her on Twitter at @angiejackson23

Angie Jackson covers crime and breaking news for The Post and Courier. She previously covered the same beat for the Grand Rapids Press and MLive.com in Michigan. When she’s not reporting, Angie enjoys teaching yoga and exploring the outdoors.