Newport News man arrested for assaulting elderly mother

Posted at 7:26 AM, Apr 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-30 23:20:25-04

Newport News, Va. - Christie Higginbotham feels hopeless.

"My mom got beat and my brother needs help," Higginbotham says.

Her brother, 51-year-old Michael McCann, is behind bars and her mother is recovering from his alleged abuse. Newport News investigators say McCann beat and threatened to shoot their elderly mother and police early Wednesday morning.

"The Mic that was there last night didn't mean to do anything to my mom, I can tell you that," Higginbotham says.

The assault and police stand-off happened early Wednesday morning in the Denbigh section of Newport News.

"This is one of the hardest things that you have to hear,” Higginbotham says. “You have to hear your mom crying; you have to see your brother's picture on TV."

She says McCann got into an argument with their 72-year-old mother, grabbed her by the neck and threw her down.

"He punched her in the face like five, six, seven, eight times,” she says. “He just kept going off and I didn't know how to stop him."

Police say another sister who was at the home called 911. When officers got to the condo on St. George Place, they found the mother outside. Meanwhile, McCann refused to come out.

A tactical team was called, but before they could assemble, McCann walked out carrying two toy guns. Police say they were replicas of a rifle and revolver. McCann surrendered and was quickly taken in by police.

Higginbotham says her brother was not himself that night.

"He needs mental help," she says.

Higginbotham says a mixture of alcohol, prescription medicine and years of psychological issues are to blame. It's a combination she says jail time will not help fix.

"I know that he has repercussions that he is going to have to pay, but jail is not going to be the answer to Mic's problems,” she says. “It's not. He needs a mental health diagnosis."

Higginbotham says their mother has injuries to her jaw, eye and ribs. McCann was charged with three misdemeanors: Domestic Assault, Obstruction of Justice and an outstanding warrant served for Contempt of Court.