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Texas man arrested after 7 dogs fatally maul elderly man as he walked to store

Samuel Cartwright, 47, was arrested after a pack of pit bulls that belonged to him attacked a killed a 71-year-old man on July 18 in a town south of Houston.
Sheriff Eric Fagan speaks during a press conference
Sheriff Eric Fagan speaks during a press conference following a fatal dog attack in Fresno, Texas, on July 18, 2022.Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office via YouTube
/ Source: TODAY

A 47-year-old Texas man was arrested Friday after seven of his dogs allegedly mauled and killed a 71-year-old man as he walked to a store in a suburb of Houston, police said.

Authorities charged Samuel Cartwright with attack by dog resulting in death after seven of his pit bull mixes killed Freddy Garcia in an unprovoked attack, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

Garcia was walking to a neighborhood store on July 18 in Fresno, Texas, about 20 miles south of Houston, when the dogs allegedly attacked him, the sheriff's office said. Garcia was airlifted to Memorial Hermann–Texas Medical Center in Houston where he was later pronounced dead.

The Sheriff’s Office, Fort Bend Animal Control and the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office led an investigation of the attack, which identified Cartwright as the owner of the dogs. All seven dogs have been captured by sheriff’s deputies and animal control, according to the sheriff’s office.

“This devastating tragedy didn’t have to happen,” Sheriff Eric Fagan said in a statement. “I extend my deepest condolences to the Garcia family and his neighbors as they adjust to the loss of Mr. Garcia.”

Cartwright remains in custody at the Fort Bend County Jail with bond set at $100,000. If convicted of the second degree felony charge, Cartwright faces two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, Fort Bend District Attorney Brian Middleton said during a press conference last week.

Middleton referenced a 2007 Texas law that holds a dog owner responsible for an attack if the owner acts with “criminal negligence” by failing to secure the dog or “knows the dog is a dangerous dog.”

“If you have a dangerous dog, it is your responsibility to keep that dog secure, to keep the members in our community safe,” Middleton said during the press conference. “I can tell you, as district attorney, if you fail to do that, you will be held accountable.”

Garcia’s brother, Jorge, told KPRC, an NBC affiliate in Houston, Texas, he feels “more at ease that at least these animals are not going to hurt no one else, and I hope this doesn’t happen anywhere else.”