Texas Man Arrested After Dog Attack Left U.S. Air Force Vet, 81, Dead and 3 Others Injured

San Antonio native Ramon Najera died while trying to save his wife from getting attacked, his step son wrote in a heartbreaking Facebook message

Ramon Najera
Ramon Najera. Photo: GoFundMe

The owner of the pit bulls that killed an elderly man and injured three others in San Antonio, Texas, has been arrested and charged with two felonies.

On Friday night, the San Antonio Police Department Covert Unit arrested Christian Alexander Moreno, 31, of San Antonio, the SAPD said in a statement.

Moreno is facing two felony charges of Attack by Dangerous Dog Causing Death and Injury to an Elderly [Individual], according to the SAPD.

Christian Moreno
Christian Moreno. San Antonio Police Department

He is being held on a $75,000 bond for the attack by dangerous dog causing death charge and a $50,000 bond for the injury to an elderly individual charge, online court records show.

A representative at the Bexar County Adult Detention Center said he was still in custody as of Monday.

Police did not publicly name the victim who was killed and his wife, who was critically injured in the deadly attack. However, the Bexar County Medical Examiner identified the victim as Ramon Najera, 81, KSAT reports.

His family also identified him on social media and in a GoFundMe created to help defray funeral costs.

"I'm still trying to understand how this could happen," Najera's stepson, Carlos Gomez, wrote on Facebook.

The shocking attack took place on Friday afternoon, when Najera, a U.S. Air Force veteran and San Antonio native, and his wife, Juanita Najera, 74, went to visit a friend on the 2800 block of Depla Street.

When they got to the house, the person they were going to see wasn't home, according to an arrest affidavit, KSAT, KABB and Animal 24-7 report.

They were reportedly returning to their vehicle when the dogs came running toward them.

Two American Staffordshire Terriers had escaped from their fenced-in yard, which was next to the home the couple was visiting, according to the SAPD.

The arrest affidavit says that Najera "saw two dogs attacking her husband" as she was nearing the vehicle, KSAT reports.

She apparently tried to help him but was injured, the affidavit says, KSAT reports.

But in a heartbreaking Facebook post, Juanita Najera's son, Carlos Gomez, wrote that his stepfather, Ramon Najera, "was trying to save my mom from being attacked."

His courageous stepfather "lost his life while saving my mom," who was injured in the attack, he wrote.

A video taken by Silvia Hernandez allegedly shows the dogs "circling" Najera, who lay face down on the ground, Animals 24-7 reports.

While witnesses called 911, a quick-thinking bystander grabbed a rake and frantically tried to get the dogs off of Najera, who had been thrown to the ground, according to an arrest affidavit, KSAT reports.

The dogs ended up attacking the bystander, the affidavit says.

The bystander also hosed the dogs to try to get them to leave Najera alone, according to a photo taken by Hernandez, Animal 24-7 reports.

Members of the San Antonio Fire Department EMS arrived at the scene and tried to fight the dogs off with pickaxes and pick poles.

"This is not something normal for us," SAFD Chief Charles Hood told KSAT. "We usually don't show up and have to defend patients from animals or ourselves."

The Najeras and an EMS Captain who was injured while trying to stop the attack were transported to a local hospital for their injuries. Despite heroic efforts by SAFD EMS to save Ramon, he died as a result of the dog attacks.

"Horrific scene, horrific for the people who experienced it and horrific for our firefighters that were part of this," Hood said.

Hernandez captured the vicious attack on video, which reportedly shows the dogs viciously attacking Ramon as he lay on the ground, Animal 24-7 reports. The video has since been taken down "out of respect for the family," Hernandez said on Facebook.

When Moreno returned home, he brought the dogs inside, KENS 5 reports. Animal Control Services later took the dogs into custody.

Alleged History of Aggression

At some point before the attack, Moreno's wife said she noticed that the dogs had become more aggressive after being sterilized, but Moreno allegedly refused to bring the dogs back to Animal Care Services, according to an arrest affidavit, KSAT and KENS 5 report.

Information obtained during a preliminary investigation into the attack shows that the SAPD responded to a prior incident relating to the dogs in November, the SAPD said in a press release.

During that visit, the property's owner was told that the dogs needed to stay inside the property. At least two of the dogs were also involved in a pair of confirmed bite cases in January and September 2021, according to the release.

"We need to jail these owners and have a better system for these abused animals," Hernandez told Animal 24-7.

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San Antonio Animal Care Services said in a press release that they had identified three dogs that belong to the property where the attack took place.

All three were euthanized on Friday night.

Moreno is scheduled to appear in court on March 28, 2023, for a preliminary hearing. It is unclear if he has entered a plea to the charges or retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

As Moreno awaits his court date, Ramon's family is mourning his loss.

"My stepdad was a strong man, stronger than a few of us put together," his stepson, Gomez, wrote on Facebook.

"Even with having to go to dialysis you'd never know that he was getting this done unless he told you. He was getting ready to start back up at his security job which is the reason they were stopping at a seamstress.

"My step dad was having some work done on his uniform when they were viciously attacked by these dogs."

In the GoFundMe, the couple's grandchildren wrote that "our beloved grandparents Ramon and Janie Najera were brutally attacked by two dogs on the west side of San Antonio.

"This fatal attack took our grandfather's life and left our grandmother in grave condition. As she recovers and heals from this tragedy, we are asking family, friends, and loved ones for any donations that can help cover medical and funeral costs. Ramon was a San Antonio native, a US Air Force veteran, and an adventurous, outgoing, and loving family man.

"He was recently put on dialysis but was determined to enjoy life to the fullest despite his health condition. On behalf of the family, we extend our deepest gratitude to those who can assist us during this challenging time."

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