In a tragic turn of events, an 81-year-old man lost his life and three others were injured in a horrific incident involving aggressive dogs. The responsible couple, residents of San Antonio, Texas, has been charged with criminal offenses in connection with the incident.
Christian Alexander Moreno and Abilene Schnieder, both 31 years old, were arrested following the fatal mauling of Air Force Veteran Ramon Najera Jr. on February 24. The couple now faces felony charges related to a dangerous dog attack causing death and criminal neglect causing injury to an elderly person. They are currently in custody with a bond set at $125,000 each.
Trained Aggression Leads to Tragic Outcome
Investigators believe that the couple had intentionally trained their dogs to exhibit aggressive behavior prior to the fatal attack. Weeks of escalating violence by the dogs culminated in the tragic incident. Multiple tips received by the police suggested that the couple had been breeding and training the dogs to be aggressive, using meat as part of their training regimen.
Despite Moreno’s claim that he followed the guidelines set by the city’s Animal Control Services (ACS) to keep the animals leashed, video evidence from a witness contradicted his statement, showing the dogs without collars. It appears that the couple may have been encouraging the aggressive tendencies of the dogs through their training practices.
Devastating Consequences Unfold
On the day of the incident, Najera and his wife were preparing to leave their home when the two dogs managed to escape from their fenced-in yard. As they made their way to their vehicle, the dogs attacked them. Najera, displaying immense bravery, tried to shield his wife from the aggressive animals. However, he was overpowered by the dogs, who dragged him along the street.
San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood recounted the heartbreaking scene, stating that firefighters intervened and managed to chase the dogs away using pick axes. Sadly, Najera succumbed to his injuries, and his wife sustained serious injuries during the attack. Additionally, a bystander who attempted to assist was bitten on the hand, and a fire captain was also bitten in the lower leg. All individuals who were taken to the hospital have since been treated and released.
Immediate Actions Taken
In response to the incident, ACS euthanized the two dogs, King and Snow, on the same night. A third dog, named Legend, was put down the following day after being found roaming the streets. Although there was no confirmation that Legend was involved in the attack, the owners voluntarily surrendered the dogs, leading to the decision to euthanize all three animals.
Prior Signs of Trouble
Neighbors reported having issues with the couple’s dogs in the past, indicating a history of problems. Schnieder, one of the dog owners, admitted to being fearful of the dogs since they were sterilized. She claimed that the procedure had made the dogs more aggressive and stated that they had begun fighting each other in the yard. Schnieder even recorded conversations with her husband about the growing danger posed by the dogs. However, despite the escalating behavior, the couple continued to keep the dogs in an unsecured yard without proper restraints.
Legal Proceedings and Further Updates
Moreno, who was arrested on the day of the incident, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 28, while Schnieder is due in court on April 4. The legal proceedings will shed more light on the charges brought against them and the potential consequences they may face.
This distressing incident serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible pet ownership and the potential dangers associated with aggressive dog behavior. The community mourns the loss of Ramon Najera Jr. and extends its sympathies to his family and loved ones.