DENTON, TX, Nov. 19, 2022 – The Denton Police Department has arrested a registered sex offender on multiple charges following a home invasion Friday morning.
A female resident reported that an unknown male had broken into her residence and physically assaulted her early Friday morning. The woman was restrained against her will for approximately two hours, and she was threatened and cut with a knife during a struggle with the male suspect. After the suspect fled with her credit card and other property, she was able to free herself from the restraints and call 911. She sustained minor physical injuries.
Detectives quickly identified the male as 72-year-old Paul Merritt, a registered sex offender, after reviewing interior home surveillance video of the suspect. He was contacted and detained Friday afternoon wearing the same clothes as the suspect in the video. He also had fresh scratches on his face, indicative of a recent struggle.
Merritt agreed to speak to detectives and confessed to multiple crimes during the interview. He told detectives that approximately two months ago, he saw the woman at a store, followed her, and watched her at her residence multiple times. He admitted to breaking into her home and assaulting her on Friday, and he additionally confessed to previously attempting to gain entry into her residence.
Detectives also determined that Merritt lied about his residential address and was primarily living at another residence, failing to comply with his sex offender registration requirements.
Merritt was arrested and charged with Stalking, Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements with Previous Conviction, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Unlawful Restraint, and Burglary of Habitation with the Intent to Commit Another Felony. Merritt is currently in the Denton County Jail with a $355,000 bond.
Denton PD commends our responding officers, detectives, dispatchers, and forensics personnel for their thorough work, which led to Merritt’s quick arrest. If you have additional information about Merritt that may be relevant to detectives, please call 940-349-8181 and reference case #22186808.