Elderly man killed, woman critically injured in 'horrific' dog attack in San Antonio

Two others, including a responding fire captain, were bit in the attack.

February 25, 2023, 11:36 AM

A man was killed and a woman critically injured in a "horrific" dog attack in Texas on Friday, authorities said.

The owner of the dogs now faces felony charges, police said.

The incident occurred around 1:45 p.m. local time in a residential area of San Antonio.

First responders on the scene of a deadly dog attack in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 24, 2023.

The 81-year-old man and 74-year-old woman who were visiting friends in the area were attacked by two dogs from a neighboring property after exiting their vehicle, according to the San Antonio Police Department. Witnesses reported that the dogs had broken through the front gate of their home just before the incident, authorities said.

The couple were both mauled in the attack, which occurred on the sidewalk, and transported to a local hospital, according to San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood. The man died due to his injuries, while the woman remains in critical condition, Hood said.

A relative of theirs also suffered a bite to the hand and a fire captain was bit in the leg while responding to the attack, authorities said. Both were transported to the hospital and remained under medical care as of Friday night.

Responding firefighters arrived as the dogs were actively attacking the couple and had to fend off the animals with pickaxes and pipe poles, according to Hood, who called their actions "heroic."

SAFD Chief Charles Hood on the scene of a deadly dog attack in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 24, 2023.

"Horrific scene -- horrific for the people that experienced this and, again, horrific for our firefighters that were a part of this, basically, a rescue to save themselves and to save these people," Hood said.

Christian Alexander Moreno, 31, was later arrested in connection with the attack and is facing a charge of attack by dangerous dog causes death and a charge of injury to an elderly, both felonies, police said. ABC News was unable to reach Moreno for comment.

In this image posted to the FaceBook account of the San Antonio Police Department, Christian Alexander Moreno is shown.
San Antonio Police Department/FaceBook

Two dogs determined to be involved in the attack and a third from the same household that was unrestrained and outside the property were taken into custody, according to Shannon Sims, director of San Antonio Animal Care Services.

The three dogs -- American Staffordshire terriers -- were euthanized Friday night, authorities said.

Police have responded to the property multiple times over the past two years, including for other bite incidents, authorities said.

At least two of the dogs in the deadly attack were involved in bite cases that resulted in moderate or mild injuries in September 2021 and this past January, authorities said. The dogs completed the state-required quarantine before their owners reclaimed them, and the individuals involved declined to file a dangerous dog designation.

In November 2022, police also responded to a dog-related call at the property, during which an officer told the owner that the dogs must be kept in the yard, authorities said.

Neighbors have also called the animal shelter to report dogs at the property that were astray and neglected, Sims said.

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