Freddy Garcia Killed in Dog Attack in Fresno, TX
UPDATE (July 26, 2022): Investigators charged 47-year-old Samuel Cartwright with an attack by a dog resulting in death, a second-degree felony, in relation to the death of Freddy Garcia. Cartwright is said to have owned some or possibly all of the dogs that attacked Garcia, though it's unclear if they had attacked anyone before.
Fresno, TX — July 18, 2022, 71-year-old Freddy Garcia was fatally injured in an attack by a pack of dogs while walking to a store in Fort Bend County.
According to reports the incident happened shortly before 1:30 p.m. in the 4300 block of Mark Terrance Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests Garcia was walking in his neighborhood when several pit bulls, described by investigators as "vicious," attacked him unprovoked.
Garcia suffered critical injuries in the attack. Responders airlifted him to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Authorities captured all seven dogs by the end of the next day. They encourage locals to remain vigilant and keep an eye on their children and pets in case there are any others in the neighborhood.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Freddy Garcia Dog Attack in Fresno
There isn't too much information yet about how this terrible incident occurred. Were the dogs strays? Feral? Were some or all of them owned by a local? If so, why weren't they properly managed? That's just a quick handful of the many questions that must be resolved to learn the whole story.
The answers to those questions may also guide what happens after this senseless event--including holding the dogs' owner(s), if there are any, accountable.
When it comes to dog attacks, generally speaking Texas and many other states apply the legal precedent called the One Bite Rule. While not a formal statute, it basically says the first time a dog bites someone its owner generally isn't considered liable. If the behavior surprises them as much as it does everyone else, they typically aren't held accountable. However, if the animal attacks anyone again or already has a history of violent behavior the owner can most certainly be held responsible if they failed to prevent it.
Police mentioned to the press that the same dogs may have attacked someone less than a week prior to this incident, suggesting that any "One Bite" protections might not apply. However, it's also possible the dogs are local strays and not claimed by a specific owner. In that event the only corrective action would probably be to catch and secure the dogs to make sure they can't do further harm. In any event, whatever steps are available to help make the neighborhood safer should be taken.