Trooper scratched during hatchet attack at Grayson County church

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 5:03 PM EDT
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TROUTDALE, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia State Police are investigating an attack involving a man with a hatchet at a Grayson County church Sunday night.

Police say around 8:30 p.m., about 20 people were gathered inside the church in the 11000 block of Flat Ridge Road in Troutdale. They heard a banging on the front entrance doors, and an off-duty Virginia State Police trooper opened the door. Standing just outside were a man and a dog, according to police. The trooper asked if he could help and the man, holding a hatchet, yelled at him. As the trooper tried to close the door, the man swung the hatchet and hit the back of the trooper’s hand. The trooper closed the door and told everyone to get into the church basement.

The trooper sustained minor scratches to his hand and was treated at the scene. No one else at the church was hurt.

Police say the man and his dog left the property, at which time the trooper helped everyone in the congregation to their vehicles. The trooper then heard the man yelling and howling from the woodline. More police responded to search for the man, described as white and in his 30s with long brown hair. The trooper says the man is about 5′11″ with a medium build. He was wearing a backpack and was accompanied by a small, black, collie-mix dog. A woman may also be with him.

Anyone with information about this man is asked to contact Virginia State Police by dialing #77 or 276-228-3131, or by email to

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