An 81-year-old man was killed in a dog attack on Friday in San Antonio that led to the arrest of the dogs’ owner and the decision to euthanize the animals.
Christian Alexander Moreno, the owner, was charged with two felonies in the attack, according to a Facebook post by the San Antonio Police Department.
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said the elderly man, Ramon Najeras, was “completely bloody” as crews arrived, according to KSAT-TV.
“Witnesses indicate the dogs had broken through the front gate of their nearby home just before the incident,” SAPD and San Antonio Animal Care Services said in a statement.
KABB-TV reported that the two dogs attacking Najeras and a 74-year-old woman would not allow firefighters to rescue the victims.
One firefighter use a pipe to defend himself while another grabbed an axe. In the struggle to free the victims from the dogs, a fire captain was bitten on the leg.
— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) February 24, 2023
Najeras was transported to a hospital but later died. The woman was listed in critical condition, according to KABB.
“No one expects to go out and fight dogs like they did today,” Hood said, according to KENS-TV, calling the incident “a horrific scene, and horrific for our firefighters that were part of this.”
The dogs were American Staffordshire terriers. They were scheduled to be euthanized Friday night.
According to KABB, the attack was not the first incident involving the dogs.
A statement from ACS said the dogs were the subject of complaints in September 2021, November 2022 and January of this year.
“Those bites were mild. So those animals finished their state-required quarantine and the owner paid reclaim fees and by state law, we were required to return those animals,” ACS director Shannon Sims said.
According to the ACS statement, after the biting incidents, “individuals involved declined to file a dangerous dog designation,” which would have required a number of safety measures.
Moreno’s neighbors said they had had dangerous encounters with the dogs in the past.
“I want to do something. Change the laws so that these types of animals have some type of restrictions,” neighbor Silvia Hernandez said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.