SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) --South Pasadena police arrested a man accused of kicking and swinging a Chihuahua in the front lobby of the South Pasadena Police Department.
At about 10 a.m. on Saturday, officers were dispatched to the lobby to investigate reports of animal cruelty.
On-duty police department records clerk Laura Mendez was working near the area and heard a man, later identified as 48-year-old Christian Andrew Najera, yelling.
When she looked at a monitor displaying surveillance video, she saw the suspect kick a Chihuahua on a leash and quickly notified a police dispatcher, according to a press release issued by the South Pasadena Police Department.
"It's shocking. Of course, at first you don't realize, 'Is that really happening, and I am witnessing this?'" Mendez said.
Mendez then saw Najera kick the dog several more times and violently swing it in the air by its leash in a circular motion.
Najera tried to leave with the dog, but was followed by the records clerk and a police dispatcher.
He was quickly found at Mound Avenue and Mission Street and was subsequently arrested for animal abuse.
Najera, a Los Angeles resident, has a lengthy criminal record, including several arrests and convictions for violent offenses, South Pasadena police said.
"It's very hurtful when you see a completely innocent, probably a six or seven pound dog, getting abused like that," South Pasadena Police Chief Arthur Miller said. "It does get to the core of our soul I think."
The dog had undetermined injuries and was released into the custody of the Pasadena Humane Society.