Man Allegedly Kicks Dog, Swings It by Leash in Lobby of South Pasadena Police Department

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A man who allegedly repeatedly kicked a dog and swung it in the air by its leash inside the lobby of the South Pasadena Police Department was arrested over the weekend.

Christian Andrew Najera is shown alongside the dog he's accused of abusing in photos released by South Pasadena police on Feb. 8, 2016.

Christian Andrew Najera is shown alongside the dog he's accused of abusing in photos released by South Pasadena police on Feb. 8, 2016.

Christian Andrew Najera, 48, of Los Angeles, was taken into custody after a police employee saw him abusing the small Chihuahua, according to a police news release.

An on-duty police records clerk was working next to the front lobby about 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, when she heard a man yelling. She looked at a monitor showing the front counter, which was closed, and saw Najera kick the dog inside the lobby.

The clerk saw Najera kick the dog several more times and then “violently swing it in the air by its leash in a circular motion,” the news release said.

The kicking and violent swinging of the pooch were captured on surveillance video that was released by the Police Department.

A still from surveillance video released by South Pasadena police shows a man swinging his Chihuahua around by its leash on Feb. 6, 2016.

A still from surveillance video released by South Pasadena police shows a man swinging his Chihuahua around by its leash on Feb. 6, 2016.

"There was nothing to provoke him. He was by himself," police Capt. Mike Neff said. "It was unprovoked."

The clerk and a police dispatcher followed Najera after he left the lobby with the dog.

"She said it was breathtaking for her to see that happen," Neff said of the clerk. "Very unusual to come into a police station and do it right in the police lobby."

Officers found Najera at Mound Avenue and Mission Street — in front of the Police Department — and arrested him on suspicion of felony animal cruelty.

"Glad we were able to catch him and take that dog away from him," Neff said.

The dog was bleeding and was taken in by the Pasadena Humane Society. The animal had no fractures and was expected to make a full recovery, Neff said.

Najera has a long criminal record, including convictions for violent offenses, police said.

He was being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles on $20,000 bail and was due in court Tuesday, inmate records indicated.