RACINE — The trial of a local businessman accused of hitting a 7-year-old boy as many as eight times at a children’s birthday party has been postponed until June.
Attorneys from both sides came to an agreement Tuesday afternoon to adjourn the trial of 51-year-old Patrick J. Christensen, the majority owner of Horizon Retail Construction, a national contractor based in Mount Pleasant that builds retail and commercial spaces.
Christensen, of Pleasant Prairie, faces a felony charge of child abuse and a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct for his alleged actions at the 2016 party.
According to the criminal complaint:
During a children’s birthday party in the Town of Yorkville on Sept. 6, 2016, Christensen allegedly punched a 7-year-old child in the back of the head. He also reportedly hit the child with an open-handed slap.
Witnesses reportedly told Christensen to put the child down, but Christensen allegedly refused, prompting other men at the party to come over and assist in removing the child from Christensen’s grasp, the complaint states.
The victim reportedly told a Racine County Sheriff’s deputy, who came to the home two days later, that he and his cousin were playing at the party when a “strange man,” later identified as Christensen, suddenly picked him up and stated “I don’t like this kid.”
Christensen, 50, then squeezed the victim very hard, according to the criminal complaint, and asked him if he knew “Guy K.” Christensen then allegedly assaulted the child.
A man who reportedly introduced the child to Christensen allegedly told the deputy that the businessman “just snapped” — picking the boy up off the ground, placing him over his shoulder and slapping him twice with an open hand on his side.
The three-day trial is slated to begin on June 12.