Horry County police officer charged in domestic assault, fired

An Horry County Police Department corporal is facing charges, after his estranged wife said he held her down and choked her at their home after forcing her vehicle to stop on the roadway, and drawing his weapon while he was in his police vehicle on patrol.

Charles Kenneth McLendon, 42, of Myrtle Beach is being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center on charges of misconduct in office and first-offense criminal domestic violence. He was booked into the jail at 2:47 a.m. Monday, according to jail records. He is being held pending a bail hearing.

Horry County officials fired McLendon on Monday, said Lisa Bourcier, Horry County spokeswoman. He had been employed with the police department since May 11, 1999.

Bourcier said there had been no previous domestic calls to the couple’s involving McLendon or his wife, before Sunday’s incident.

If convicted, McLendon faces up to 10 years in prison on the misconduct charge and up to 30 days on the criminal domestic violence charge, 15th Deputy Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said.

The misconduct in office charge stemmed from McLendon’s alleged use of Horry County equipment and being on duty at the time of the incident, according to an arrest affidavit.

According to an Horry County police report, the incident occurred between 12:30 and 2 a.m. Monday.

Officers were called to a home on Whaler Harbour in the Myrtle Beach area for a domestic situation and found McLendon “agitated and the house showed obvious signs of aggressive behavior,” according to the report. Officers handcuffed McLendon and took him outside while they spoke to a 46-year-old woman, who said the couple has been separated.

The victim told police that a male friend brought her home and McLendon drove by and got angry about the male friend being there, according to the report.

The victim said McLendon yelled over his police vehicle’s public address system that he was going to kill himself, then drove away.

The victim said she left the home and soon after she noticed McLendon following her in his police vehicle.

McLendon got on the PA and told her to pull over, but she refused, according to the incident report. The victim said McLendon then turned on the emergency equipment in his patrol car, drove by her and forced her to stop in the road.

The victim said McLendon got out of his vehicle with his gun drawn and walked up to her car, according to the report. McLendon threw his wedding band inside her vehicle and took the gun’s magazine clip out and threw it inside as well, police said.

The victim said McLendon told her he had one bullet left to do what he needed before he drove away, according to the report. The victim told police she returned to the home and found McLendon there, two doors broken off hinges, and her bedroom ransacked.

The couple then argued and the victim said she hit McLendon before he grabbed her, pinned her to the ground and put her in a choke hold, according to the report. The victim said she repeatedly hit McLendon with an air freshener can until he let her go.

McLendon then called an Horry County police sergeant and asked for an officer to be sent to the home, according to the report. McLendon was taken to Conway Medical Center for evaluation before he was taken to jail.

The victim told officers she feared for her safety during the incident. She did not require EMS treatment, according to police. McLendon had minor scratches on his face, neck and head but did not require any medical treatment.