Firefighters were dispatched to a residential neighborhood after receiving reports of an elderly man “being dragged by a dog.” When they arrived on the scene, where the elderly man was mauled to death in the “horrific” dog attack that also injured three others, the animals were still on the loose, forcing the firefighters to defend the victims and themselves in a very unusual way — and it was all caught on video.
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood and his crew received an out-of-the-ordinary and traumatic call that would soon leave firefighters scrambling to protect themselves and others. According to The Blaze, it all began when the first responders were dispatched to a residential neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas after receiving reports that an elderly man was “being dragged by a dog.” Nothing could have prepared them for what they were about to encounter.
When firefighters arrived at the scene on that fateful Friday afternoon around 2 p.m., they could see an elderly “gentleman being dragged by a dog. They could see him completely bloodied before they got off of the truck,” San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood explained. Sadly, the gentleman was an 81-year-old man who had been mauled by two American Staffordshire terriers in a “horrific” dog attack while on the sidewalk with his wife.
According to the NY Post, the elderly couple had just arrived on the street to visit friends. When they stepped out of their vehicle, the two dogs, which had escaped from a neighbor’s yard, attacked the elderly man and his 74-year-old wife, San Antonio police said. When firefighters arrived to help, they found the two dogs involved in the attack and another dog from the same home were not only unrestrained but also aggressive towards the first responders.
Sadly, the dogs were so aggressive that they prevented the firefighters from helping the victims, which forced the first responders to take drastic measures. In order to defend themselves and the victims, the firefighters grabbed the only tools at their disposal. Using pickaxes and poles, they defended themselves as they attempted to treat the victims, and it was all caught on camera by an on-looking neighbor.
Unfortunately, the damage was already done. The dogs caused “visible bite injuries to both victims,” police said. Although the elderly man was given blood at the scene, he died of his injuries, according to officials. His wife, as well as a fire captain who suffered a bit wound to the leg and another person who was reportedly bitten on the hand, were also injured. The 74-year-old woman was taken to University Hospital in critical condition.
Following the attack, animal control seized three dogs, according to Shannon Sims, director of San Antonio Animal Care Services. San Antonio Animal Care Services said all three dogs, who were owned by the same property owner, were to be euthanized, but only two American Staffordshire terriers were suspected of the deadly dog attack.
The owner of the dogs, 31-year-old Christian Alexander Moreno, was arrested and hit with felony charges of attack by [a] dangerous dog [that] causes death and injury to an elderly, according to a statement from the San Antonio Police Department. Sadly, this wasn’t the first time Moreno’s dogs had caused trouble in the neighborhood.
According to San Antonio Animal Care Services, the shelter had received numerous calls from concerned neighbors over the previous two years, claiming the dogs were neglected and seemed to be strays. Making matters worse, Sims said the two Staffordshire terriers — a male and female — were involved in a “previous bite” incident two years before the elderly man was mauled to death. The animals were temporarily impounded at the time but later returned to their owners, Fox News reported.
As for the firefighters and the extreme measures they were forced to take, Chief Charles Hood said his first responders were “very heroic” in their efforts to “fight off” the dogs to get to the victims in what he called a “horrific scene.” He also explained this was highly unusual for his team. “This is not something normal for us. We usually don’t show up and have to defend patients from animals or ourselves,” Hood said. “Horrific scene, horrific for the people who experienced it and horrific for our firefighters that were part of this.”
For those wondering about the differences between American Staffordshire terriers and American pit bull terriers, The Spruce Pets explains, “There is no technical breed called a pit bull. There is, however, a breed called the American pit bull terrier. Generally speaking, the American Staffordshire terrier is nearly the same as the American pit bull terrier. The main difference is Am Staffs conform to a narrower size range, per the American Kennel Club (AKC) standard, and American pit bull terriers have greater variances in size and other physical traits.”