DC man charged with beating father to death with baseball bats

A D.C. man is facing second-degree murder charges in the violent death of his father in their Cleveland Park home.

Court documents point to a buildup of toxicity, abuse and mental health issues that all boiled over in the attack on Thursday.

The mother of 28-year-old Christian Arndt told police she had just brought her son home from the hospital where he had been given an anti-anxiety drug the night before.

She said she believed it triggered a psychotic episode in her son, who almost immediately marched upstairs and began attacking his father 54-year-old Donald Arndt.

Christian Arndt told police he hit his father with a pair of metal baseball bats at least 10 times that morning. His father was asleep when the attack began, according to court documents which portray a household stressed for years by abuse.

Police said both Christian Arndt and his mother described his father as verbally and physically abusive to them.

Christian Arndt then abused drugs and alcohol, according to court documents. The mother believed both her husband and son had drinking problems and police found empty vodka bottles inside her son’s bedroom.

Christian said it had gotten especially stressful lately. He admitted being recently fired from his job at a Bethesda law firm and that he and his dad “had been getting on one another’s cases a lot” over the past few weeks.

He said his dad had recently called him a “loser.”

Christian Arndt will remain in custody until his trial begins. His next court date is in late February.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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