A San Antonio pit bull breeding pair “used meat to aggressively train their dogs” prior to the fatal mauling of an 81-year-old man.
Christian Alexander Moreno was arrested and charged with criminal negligence – dangerous dog attack resulting in the death and injury of the elderly and remains in prison. His wife Abilene Schnieder, 31, has now also been hit with the same allegations.
Ramon Najera, 81, had tried to protect his wife, 74, from the couple’s three pit bulls after they escaped from a yard on Feb. 26 and bit him to death. His wife and two other men were also injured in the attack.
The dogs had attacked two other people nearby on two separate occasions, and new evidence suggests the criminal couple “trained” them to be vicious killers.
Christian Alexander Moreno was arrested and charged with criminal negligence – dangerous dog attack resulting in the death and injury of the elderly and remains in prison. His wife Abilene Schneider, 31, has now also been hit with the same allegations
Researchers told news4sanantonio that the pit bulls easily escaped from their yard through a hole in the fence.
According to the arrest report, witness video showed the dogs were not wearing collars or harnesses — a requirement of Animal Control Services (ACS). Moreno had told investigators he had followed the guidelines.
Police said they received tips that Moreno and Schnieder “bred the dogs and trained the dogs to handle meat aggressively.”
The affidavit further states that Schneider had also “recorded conversations with her husband about how dangerous the dogs had become.” ‘
The three fearsome American Staffordshire Terriers were euthanized and “multiple reports of the dogs’ violent behavior” emerged in the aftermath of the deadly attack.
After the incident and before her arrest, Schnieder claimed that her husband was not responsible for the attack and that they had taken care of it when raising the dogs.
After the first few attacks, the dogs were taken from their possession, but they were quickly returned after the couple’s children begged for their return.
“We came back and I saw the dogs behind the fence, but they were full of blood,” Schneider told the local channel. KENS5.
“It’s traumatizing to see my dogs that I’ve raised since they were puppies do that to anyone.”
Ramon Najera, 81, had tried to protect his wife, 74, from the pit bulls after they broke free of a yard on February 26 and bit him to death
Firefighters were forced to use picks and metal poles to fight the ferocious animals
“We are sorry from the bottom of our hearts, but my husband is not responsible,” she added, claiming that they did everything they could to prevent the dogs – King, Snow and Legend – from escaping.
Schnieder said she was trying to raise money to get her husband out on bail — his bail was set at $125,000.
When the two returned home, they found their dogs out of their harnesses and were told by first responders that their dogs had attacked four people and killed one.
Schnieder described how the dogs could have been a handful and that they had escaped before. They had been involved in two attacks, one involving King and two involving Snow. Despite this, she said they were not raised to be aggressive.
“We never beat them, neglected them, never mistreated them,” she said.
After the attacks last month, the dogs were temporarily confiscated by Animal Care Services.
The 31-year-old claimed that neither she nor her husband wanted the dogs back, but their children did. “I was like, these dogs aren’t for us anymore,” she said.
Najera and his wife Janie’s grandchildren shared a tribute to their grandfather and created a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses for their grandfather and medical bills for their grandmother’s injuries.
“Ramon was a native of San Antonio, a veteran of the United States Air Force and an adventurous, outgoing, and loving family man,” they wrote.
“He was recently on dialysis, but despite his health condition, he was determined to enjoy life to the fullest.”
Carlos Gomez, Ramon’s stepson and Janie’s son, said on Facebook that his stepfather was a “strong man,” he was about to start working as a security guard despite his age.
“He was getting ready to go back to his security job, so they stopped at a seamstress. My stepfather was working on his uniform when they were viciously attacked by these dogs,” he wrote.
After more than one attack in recent months, the dogs have been temporarily confiscated by Animal Care Services. Schnieder claims that neither she nor her husband (both pictured) wanted the dogs back, but their children did
Firefighters can be seen using their metal picks to push the animals away
The attack took place along 2800 block of Depla Street, on the west side of town where Najeras and his wife were visiting friends.
As they got out of their car, the couple was attacked by the two American Staffordshire Terriers.
When the San Antonio Fire Department arrived on the scene around 1:45 p.m., the dogs were “still actively attacking the couple,” police said.
Firefighters described the scene as ‘gruesome’ as Najera was dragged away by the animals as emergency services tried to intervene.
“As they turned the corner, they saw a man being dragged by a dog. He was completely covered in blood before they got out of the truck,” San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said at the scene.
They were forced to use their picks to release the dogs’ grip.
An EMS captain was bitten in the leg during the rescue attempt.
San Antonio Animal Care Services later confirmed that the dogs involved in the incident would both be put down. A third dog who was present but not involved was also euthanized.
Snow in the picture with her puppies, 7 males and 2 females. Snow was involved in two attacks last month and in the deadly attack last week
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said his staff were most likely traumatized by the horrific scene
Emergency services at the scene of the deadly dog attack
“This is not something that is normal for us. Normally we don’t have to defend patients against animals or ourselves. The firefighters were very heroic in this case and fought off these pit bulls with picks and pipes to try and get to the patients,” Hood said.
“Two people were mauled, with a confirmed fatality who was treated at the scene and given blood, along with a woman in critical condition. Another person was bitten on the hand and also taken to the hospital.
“It was a horrific scene and a horrific experience for everyone involved, including firefighters, which was essentially a rescue to save themselves,” Hood said.
Hood said the whole experience probably “emotionally scarred” the firefighters. “Nobody expects to go out and fight dogs in a situation like today,” he said.
Both women who were assaulted were taken to University Hospital for treatment. One of them was in critical condition after the attack, but her current condition is unknown.