By Andy Rose and Rebekah Riess, CNN
An 81-year-old man died after being attacked by two dogs in San Antonio, Texas, and a suspect has been arrested in the incident, police say.
The man and a female companion, 74, were attacked Friday afternoon when they got out of their car in front of a relative’s home, officials said. The dogs also injured one of the relatives and bit a first responder who tried to pull the animals off the couple, authorities said.
The dogs had escaped their yard near the relatives’ home, officials said.
Christian Alexander Moreno, 31, has been arrested in connection with the attack and faces felony charges of attack by a dangerous dog causing death and injury to an elderly person, San Antonio police said in a statement on Facebook. It’s not clear if Moreno has obtained an attorney.
The 74-year-old woman is hospitalized in critical condition, according to San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood.
The chief said the attack was still underway when a fire crew responded to a dog bite call. “As they rounded the corner, they could see a gentleman being dragged by a dog,” said Hood. “They could see him completely bloodied before they got out of the fire truck.”
The dogs were American Staffordshire terriers, one of several breeds that falls under the broader classification of a pit bull, according to San Antonio Animal Care Services. “There were two that we know for a fact that were involved with the attack. There was a third animal from the same location that was free of restraint,” Animal Care Services Director Shannon Sims said.
Hood said the emergency responders trying to help the victims also had to fend off the animals, “fighting off these pit bulls with pick axes.” One fire captain received a minor leg bite, according to Hood.
All three dogs connected to the attack were in the custody of Animal Care Services and have been euthanized, according to a statement from Animal Care Services released Saturday.
“The two dogs confirmed to have participated in the attack were euthanized Friday evening while the third was euthanized Saturday,” the statement reads.
Animal Care Services said the same animals were the subject of a previous complaint. “These animals were involved in a previous fight two years ago,” said Sims, adding that the agency was not able to prevent their release because the victim declined to file an affidavit regarding the attack.
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