A 47-year-old man is in custody after his seven dogs fatally attacked a 71-year-old man in Fresno, Texas on Monday, police said.
Police arrested and charged Samuel Cartwright with dog attack resulting in death – a second-degree felony in Texas – after his pit bull mixes allegedly mauled Freddy Garcia in an unprovoked attack as Garcia walked to a neighborhood store in Fresno, an unincorporated community about 20 miles south of Houston, around 1:30 p.m., according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
Rescuers airlifted Garcia by helicopter to Hermann-Texas Memorial Medical Center in downtown Houston, where he was later pronounced dead, the sheriff’s office said at a news conference earlier last week.
A subsequent investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, Fort Bend Animal Control, and the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office identified Cartwright as the owners of the dogs; sheriff’s deputies and animal control officers had captured the seven dogs on Tuesdayaccording to the sheriff’s office.
Cartwright is being held in Fort Bend County Jail and his bond has been set at $100,000.
“This devastating tragedy did not have to happen,” Sheriff Eric Fagan said in a statement. “I send my deepest condolences to the Garcia family and their neighbors as they come to terms with the loss of Mr. Garcia.”
Garcia’s family members described him to local ABC affiliate ABC 13 as “young, ‘lively’ and ‘really cheerful’, adding that he loved to dance and sing.
Following the attack, authorities urged local residents to take responsibility for their dogs.
“If you have a dangerous dog, it is your responsibility to keep that dog safe, to keep our community members safe,” District Attorney Brian Middleton said at a press conference earlier this year. week.
“I can tell you, as a district attorney, if you don’t, you will be held accountable,” Middleton said, pointing to a 2007 Texas law that holds dog owners responsible for attacks if they are acting with “criminal negligence” in failing to secure the dog or “knows the dog is a dangerous dog”.
Under the law, Cartwright could face anywhere from two to 20 years in prison and be fined $10,000, Middleton said at the press conference.
“If you own an animal that you know could, could bite, please – the law says the animal must either be on a leash or inside the fence, this is a ‘have physical control,’ Rene Vasquez, director of Fort Bend County Animal Services, said at the press conference.