An 81-year-old man is dead and his wife, 74, was in critical condition after the couple was mauled by dogs Friday in San Antonio, officials said.
The dog's owner, Christian Alexander Moreno, 31, has been charged with dangerous dog attack resulting in death and injury to an elderly person-criminal negligence. Moreno, who was arrested Friday evening, remained in custody Saturday. The total bail amount is $125,000.
First responders were called to the 2800 block of Depla just before 2 p.m. Friday after reports of a dog attack. Firefighters on the scene saw the man being dragged by a dog. The man’s wife also was mauled, officials said.
‘It was a horrific scene, horrific for the people who had to experience it and for the firefighters who were part of the rescue,' Fire Chief Charles Hood said.
Animal Care Services officers said three Staffordshire terriers, a type of pit bull, were at the scene of the attack. Animal Care Services spokesperson Lisa Norwood confirmed that Moreno was the owner of all three dogs.
The pit bulls, who lived at a nearby home, had become untethered and broken through the front gate to the yard they were being kept in, according to a news release from the city. They attacked the couple as they were getting out of their car to visit a relative, it said. Officials have not identified the victims.
Firefighters had to repel the dogs with pickaxes and poles to get to the man. A relative of the couple and a Fire Department captain also were bitten during the attack, officials said.
All four people were taken to the hospital, where the 81-year-old man died, according to the news release.
Two of the dogs have been euthanized, Animal Care Services said Saturday. Tests are being done on the third dog that was on the scene to determine whether it also was involved in the attack, Norwood said.
In addition to the three pit bulls, animal services officers also took some puppies found inside Moreno’s home into custody, Norwood said.
The animal services department said this was not the first time it had been called to that property for reports of a dog bite. At least two of the dogs were involved in ‘confirmed bite cases' in January of this year and in September 2021.
The injuries in those cases were described as ‘moderate or mild,' and the individuals involved ‘declined to file a dangerous dog designation,' according to a city news release. The animals were returned to their owner after a quarantine period in accordance with state law.