A heartbreaking incident unfolded in San Antonio, Texas, when a pair of dogs, allegedly trained to be aggressive, launched a fatal attack on an 81-year-old man and injured several others. Christian Alexander Moreno and Abilene Schnieder, both 31 years old, are now facing criminal charges in the aftermath of this horrific event.
The Fatal Mauling
On February 24, 81-year-old Air Force Veteran Ramon Najera Jr. fell victim to a brutal dog attack, which ultimately claimed his life. In addition to Najera’s tragic demise, his 74-year-old wife and two other individuals suffered injuries as well. The dogs’ sudden outburst of violence left the community in shock and prompted immediate action by law enforcement.
Christian Alexander Moreno and Abilene Schnieder have been arrested and are currently facing serious felony charges. The charges against them include:
- Dangerous Dog Attack Causing Death: A charge related to the fatal attack on Ramon Najera Jr.
- Criminal Neglect Causing Injury of an Elderly Person: A charge stemming from the injuries inflicted on Najera’s wife and the other victims.
Both individuals were taken into custody and remain in jail, each with a bond set at $125,000.
Allegations of Aggressive Dog Training
The tragedy that unfolded on that fateful day was not a random occurrence. Investigators suspect that the dogs responsible for the attack had been trained to be aggressive, possibly encouraged by the owners. Witnesses reported increasingly violent behavior from the dogs in the weeks leading up to the fatal attack.
Breeding and Training
Multiple tips received by the police pointed to a disturbing possibility – that Moreno and Schnieder had been breeding and training their dogs to be aggressive. According to an arrest affidavit, there were allegations that the couple had been feeding the dogs meat to encourage their aggressive tendencies.
Violation of Animal Control Guidelines
In their defense, Moreno claimed that they had adhered to the city’s Animal Control Services (ACS) guidelines for keeping their animals leashed. However, this claim was contradicted by witness videos that showed the dogs were not wearing collars. This discrepancy raised questions about the extent to which the couple was compliant with the regulations.
A Heartfelt Apology
Abilene Schnieder expressed her deep regret and condolences to the victims’ families before her arrest, stating that they had never intended to harm anyone. She emphasized that they had not raised their dogs with malicious intent. This tragic event has had a profound impact on the entire community, and Schnieder’s heartfelt apology reflects the gravity of the situation.
The Fate of the Dogs
The dogs involved in the attack were identified as American Staffordshire terriers and were subsequently euthanized by ACS. The decision to euthanize the dogs was made after a careful evaluation of the circumstances and to prevent any further potential harm. The tests for rabies on the dogs came back negative.
The Attack and its Consequences
On the day of the attack, Ramon Najera Jr. and his wife were making their way to their vehicle when the two dogs, named King and Snow, escaped from their yard. The dogs launched a relentless attack, with Najera attempting to shield his wife from harm. Firefighters had to intervene, using pick axes to chase away the aggressive dogs.
Najera’s wife sustained serious injuries, and a bystander, who bravely tried to fend off the dogs with a rake, was also bitten. Even a responding fire captain was not spared from the dogs’ aggression, suffering a bite on the lower leg.
A History of Issues
It was reported by bystanders that there had been prior issues with these dogs. Neighbors had allegedly experienced problems with the dogs’ behavior in the past, indicating a pattern of aggression.
A Tragic Turn of Events
Schnieder admitted that she had been fearful of the dogs ever since they were sterilized, as she believed that the procedure had made the animals even more aggressive. Schnieder had recorded conversations with her husband discussing the dogs’ dangerous behavior. However, despite their concerns, the couple continued to keep the dogs in their unsecured yard without proper restraints.
Schnieder had even asked Moreno to return the dogs to ACS for the safety of everyone involved.
Christian Alexander Moreno was arrested on February 24, and he is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 28 to address the charges against him. Abilene Schnieder’s court appearance is set for April 4, as confirmed by the police.
In conclusion, this tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the responsibility that comes with owning pets, especially those with potentially aggressive tendencies. The consequences of neglecting proper training and containment measures can have devastating effects on both the victims and the animals themselves.