POQUOSON, Va. (WAVY) — A judge denied bond Monday to a police officer with the City of Poquoson who faces felony charges in a domestic abuse case.
Earl McNair, 41, faces several charges including abduction, assault and strangulation for an incident Saturday in Newport News.
Investigators say they responded to a home on Pagewood Drive, where a 40-year-old woman told them McNair, her ex-boyfriend had come to discuss reconciling.
Instead, police say McNair jumped on her, choked her, then took her phone when she reached for it.
She did not require medical attention, and two children in the home at the time were not harmed, according to a spokesperson for the Newport News Police Department.
A woman who lives on Pagewood Drive said McNair moved out of the house about a year ago. However, she said he returned several times a week to help his ex-girlfriend with the house and kids.
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard about it. I thought, ‘This is just not real,'” said Ruby Haynie. “He’s such a sweet person, from what I’ve seen him do […] I can’t believe he would do anything harmful to anybody.”
Hearing about the incident rattled Chelsea Simpson, who lives in McNair’s new neighborhood.
She said when she moved into her house, seeing his patrol car parking in the street made her feel safe, but now, that’s changed.
“Domestic abuse is a huge accusation,” she said. “Having someone as a police officer, you do hold them to a high standard, so it is disappointing to hear.”
Poquoson’s police chief confirmed McNair is the subject of an internal investigation because of the matter, and has been placed on administrative leave.
McNair has been with the department since 2006, and was promoted to sergeant in the uniformed patrol division this past January, according to the chief.
McNair is currently being held at Newport News City Jail with no bond, according to the Newport News Sheriff’s Office. He will stand trial July 21.
McNair denied an interview request from 10 On Your Side, according to a spokesperson for the jail.