Ex-Pasadena police officer accused of choking child with dog leash

Saturday, December 7, 2019
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The officer wrapped the leash around the child so tight, the child told investigators he felt he couldn't breathe, according to court records.

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- A former Pasadena police officer has been charged with assault and is accused of putting a dog leash around his then-8-year-old stepson's neck.

Police say McKay Christensen turned himself in on Friday after officers issued a warrant for his arrest.

It goes back to 2017 at a Pasadena apartment complex. Police say his stepson was walking a puppy.

"Apparently, the puppy wasn't cooperating, wasn't walking, so the child was pulling on the leash and the puppy was yelping," Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger said.

Then, Christensen allegedly put the leash around the boy.

"He made some statements to the effect that he was going to teach him to walk a dog properly and took the leash, placed one end through the loop on the end of the leash, placed it around the child's neck, and then was pulling or jerking, is what was described by witnesses," Bruegger said.

The incident was just reported in June of this year, two years after it allegedly happened. At the same time, police say child abuse allegations were reported concerning Christensen's wife, Stacy Rodd. She's accused of injuring a different child.

"Repeatedly striking a child with a belt, not only in the area of buttock, but the back and other parts of the body," said Bruegger. Rodd has four children.

Police say she and Christensen could face additional charges in the future. We reached out for comment but Rodd did not respond.

As for Christensen, his attorney says there's a lot more to the story.

"From what I do know, I believe it's been blown out of proportion. Mr. Christensen will have his day in court to explain his version of the events. At that time, I think there will be more light shed on this case," said Mark Thering, Christensen's attorney.

Christensen was with the Pasadena Police Department for 16 years and had recently retired.

"I was appalled. I have children of my own and so, to hear that, you know, anybody would do this and let alone, a police officer and, let alone one that works for me, it's appalling. It hurts," Bruegger said.

Christensen was being held on a $45,000 bond.

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