(FRESNO, Texas) -- A man has been arrested after his seven dogs mauled a 71-year-old man to death while he was walking to a local neighborhood store.
The incident occurred on July 18 in Fresno, Texas, when 71-year-old Fresno-native Freddy Garcia was walking to a store in his neighborhood at approximately 1:30 p.m. when the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a witness reporting that the man was being mauled by seven dogs, authorities say.
Authorities responded to the scene and found Garcia who was immediately transported via Life Flight to Memorial Hermann -- a hospital in the downtown Houston area -- and was later pronounced deceased from wounds suffered during the attack.
According to a statement from the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s office, four of the dogs were captured shortly after the mauling but three were on the loose for an undisclosed period of time before being captured. All seven of the dogs were a pit bull mix, according to authorities, but no owner of the animal was identified at the time.
However, following an investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Office along with Fort Bend Animal Control and the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office, authorities on Friday were able to identify and arrest 47-year-old Samuel Cartwright in connection to the mauling death of Garcia.
Cartwright currently remains in custody at the Fort Bend County Jail and has been charged with Attack by Dog resulting in Death -- a second degree felony -- and police have confirmed that his bond has been set at $100,000.
Meanwhile, Fort Bend Sheriff Eric Fagan says he is thankful that the dogs have been removed from the streets and another potential attack has been prevented.
“This devastating tragedy didn’t have to happen. I extend my deepest condolences to the Garcia family and his neighbors as they adjust to the loss of Mr. Garcia,” Sheriff Fagan said. “Special thanks go out to our deputies, Fort Bend Animal Services Director Rene Vasquez, and Fort Bend District Attorney Brian Middleton for the collaborative work of capturing the dogs and making an arrest.”
The investigation into the mauling death is ongoing.