South Pasadena

Man Caught on Camera Swinging Chihuahua From Leash at Police Station

Surveillance video captured a man whipping a dog in a circle on her leash and kicking her in the lobby of the South Pasadena Police Department

An 8-pound chihuahua is resting at the Southern California humane society after a man was caught on camera abusing her in the lobby of the South Pasadena Police Department.

Surveillance video captured the man and dog entering the police station on Saturday before he is seen scolding and kicking the dog, police said. He then used the leash to swing her body around in a circle.

Christian Andrew Najera, 48, was arrested on Saturday morning on suspicion of animal cruelty, a felony, according to police. Officers are currently investigating how he came to possess the dog.

"The man pulled the leash very very hard," said Laura Mendez, a police records clerk, who was in the lobby when it happened. "It was so shocking to see the poor animal."

On the monitor above her desk, she saw the suspect whip the dog in a circle on her leash then drag her outside.

The chihuahua does not show signs of permanent injuries. The dog has been placed with the Pasadena Humane Society. If no owner is found, the chihuahua could go up for adoption. 

Mendez's keen eye led to the arrest, South Pasadena Police Department Chief Art Miller said.

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"It kind of tugs at your heart, and your soul especially, to see an animal so innocent and doing absolutely nothing to receive such treatment," said Miller.

Najera will face charges in court on Tuesday. It not clear Monday afternoon if he had an attorney.

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