SAN ANTONIO — An elderly man was killed and three others were injured, one critically, after a vicious attack by two American Staffordshire terriers in San Antonio Friday. The owner was arrested and the dogs are going to be euthanized following the “horrific” mauling, authorities said.
Crews with the San Antonio Fire Department responded to the scene in the 2800 block of Depla Street on the city’s West Side about 2 p.m. Friday and observed an 81-year-old man “being dragged by a dog (and) completely bloody before they got off the fire truck,” San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said.
A 74-year-old female companion of the elderly man was also mauled by the dogs and a relative sustained a bite to the hand, according to authorities.
As firefighters arrived, they began to fend off the vicious canines with pipes and pick axes as the emergency evolved into a rescue situation, Hood noted. During the process, a fire captain suffered a dog bite on the leg, according to KENS 5 News.
“No one expects to go out and fight dogs like they did today,” Hood said about his crews who responded. “A horrific scene, and horrific for our firefighters that were part of this.”
“This is not something normal for us. We usually don’t show up and have to defend patients from animals or ourselves,” the fire chief said.
The 81-year-old man died as a result of the attack. His 74-year-old female companion was hospitalized in critical condition, Hood told KSAT. The victim bitten on the hand was transported to the hospital for treatment as was the fire captain who suffered a dog bite to the leg.
San Antonio Animal Care Services is investigating the canine attacks. “Multiple charges” are expected to be filed, ACS officials said.
The victims were visiting friends in the area. When they got out of their car the Staffordshire Terriers escaped their yard, which was next to the location the couple was visiting, police said. Witnesses saw the attack and called authorities.
According to police, “The suspect, 31 year old Christian Alexander Moreno, 31, was later arrested by the SAPD Covert Unit and is facing a felony charge of Attack by Dangerous Dog Causes Death and a felony charge of Injury to an Elderly.”
ACS Director Shannon Sims said the dogs were previously impounded in 2021 due to a “mild bite.”
A third canine that was not directly involved but unrestrained in the area during the attack was also corralled by ACS and will be euthanized, KENS 5 reported.