The sister of a ‘neighbor from hell’ whose dogs mauled an 81-year-old man to death has been arrested for threatening neighbors who witnessed the horror attack.
Residents living near Abilene Schnieder, 31, and husband Christian Alexander Moreno, also 31, in San Antonio claim that since they spoke out about their vicious dogs killing Ramon Najera on February 26, they have faced threats that have left them living in fear.
Abilene’s sister, Destiny Marie Cardona, 26, was arrested on Thursday and charged with retaliation. She was released Friday after bond was set at $25,000, KSAT reported.
Belinda Rodriguez claims Cardona told her neighbor: ‘You are going to pay for this. We are going to kill your son, bring him to you, find you and kill you.’
Rodriguez and others have filed multiple complaints against the pit bull owners – Cardona’s sister, Abilene, and her husband Christian – since their three dogs escaped through a hole in their fence to maul and kill Najera, and leave his wife and two other men injured.
Destiny Marie Cardona, 26, told her sister Abilene’s neighbor: ‘You are going to pay for this. We are going to kill your son, bring him to you, find you and kill you’ She was arrested for retaliation Thursday
Firefighters were forced to use pickaxes and metal poles to fight off the savage animals
‘Our department will not tolerate allegations of retaliation. We take those calls very serious,’ Lt. Michelle Ramos of San Antonio police said in response to the complaints. ‘We encourage the residents – please call us. We will fully investigate those cases.’
Cardona could face anywhere from two to ten years in prison if found guilty of retaliation.
Moreno was arrested and charged with criminal negligence – dangerous dog attack resulting in death and injury to elderly and remains in jail. His wife Schnieder has now also been slapped with the same charges.
Ramon Najera, 81, had been trying to protect his wife, 74, from the couple’s three pit bulls after they broke free from a yard on February 26 and mauled him to death. His wife, along with two other men, were also injured in the attack.
The dogs had attacked two other people in the neighborhood on two separate occasions and fresh evidence points to the criminal couple having ‘trained’ them to be vicious killers.
Investigators told news4sanantonio that the pit bulls made an easy escape from their yard through a hole in the fence.
According to the arrest report, a witness video showed that the dogs were not wearing collars or harnesses – a requirement of Animal Control Services (ACS). Moreno had told investigators that he had complied with the guidelines.
Police said they’d received tips that Moreno and Schnieder ‘have been breeding the dogs and training the dogs to be aggressive with meat.’
Belinda Rodriguez (pictured) said Cardona threatened her neighbor
Christian Alexander Moreno was arrested and charged with criminal negligence – dangerous dog attack resulting in death and injury to elderly and remains in jail. His wife Abilene Schnieder, 31, has now also been slapped with the same charges
The affidavit goes on to state that Schnieder also had ‘recorded conversations with her husband regarding how dangerous the dogs had become. ‘
The three terrifying American Staffordshire Terriers were euthanized, and ‘multiple reports of the dogs’ violent behavior’ emerged in the wake of the deadly attack.
Following the incident, and before her arrest, Schnieder claimed her husband wasn’t responsible for the attack and that they’d taken care when raising the dogs.
Following the first couple of attacks, the dogs had been removed from their possession but they were quickly brought back after the couple’s children begged for their return.
‘We were coming back and I saw the dogs behind the gate but they were full of blood,’ Schnieder told local channel KENS5.
‘It’s traumatizing to see my dogs that I have raised since they were puppies do that to somebody.’
Ramon Najera, 81, had been trying to protect his wife, 74, from the pit bulls after they broke free from a yard on February 26 and mauled him to death
‘From the bottom of our hearts, we’re sorry but my husband is not responsible,’ she added, claiming they’d done everything in their power to keep the dogs – King, Snow and Legend – from escaping.
Schnieder said she was trying to raise the money to have her husband released on bail – his bond set at $125,000.
When the two arrived home they saw their dogs were 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 be a handful, and that they had escaped before. They had been involved in two attacks, one involving King and two involving Snow. Despite that, she said they had not been raised to be aggressive.
‘We never hit them, neglect them, never abused them,’ she said.
After the attacks last month, the dogs were temporarily confiscated by Animal Care Services.
The 31-year-old claimed neither she nor her husband wanted the dogs back, but that their children did. ‘I was like, these dogs aren’t for us anymore,’ she said.
The grandchildren of Najera and his wife Janie shared a tribute to their grandfather and created a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral costs for their grandfather and medical bills for their grandmother’s injuries.
‘Ramon was a San Antonio native, a US Air Force veteran, and an adventurous, outgoing, and loving family man,’ they wrote.
‘He was recently put on dialysis but was determined to enjoy life to the fullest despite his health condition.’
Carlos Gomez, Ramon’s stepson and Janie’s son, said on Facebook that his stepfather was a ‘strong man’ he was getting ready to start working as a security guard, despite his age.
‘He was getting ready to start back up at his security job, which is the reason they were stopping at a seamstress. My stepdad was having some work done on his uniform when they were viciously attacked by these dogs,’ he wrote.
After more than one attack last months the dogs were temporarily confiscated by Animal Care Services. Schnieder claims neither she nor her husband (both pictured) wanted the dogs back, but that their children did
Firefighters can be seen holding their metal pickaxes to force the animals away
The attack occurred along 2800 block of Depla Street, on the city’s west side where Najeras and his wife were visiting friends.
When they got out of their car, the couple were set upon by the two American Staffordshire Terriers.
When the San Antonio Fire Department arrived on the scene at around 1.45pm, the dogs were ‘still actively attacking the couple,’ police said.
Firefighters described the scene as ‘horrific’, as Najera was being dragged by the animals as emergency services tried to intervene.
‘As they rounded the corner they could see a man being dragged by a dog. He was completely bloodied before they got out of the truck,’ San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said at the scene.
They were forced to use their pickaxes to get the dogs to release their grip.
An EMS captain was bitten on the leg during the attempted rescue.
San Antonio Animal Care Services confirmed later that the dogs involved in the incident would both be put down. A third dog that was present but not involved was also euthanized.
Snow pictured with her puppies, 7 males and 2 females. Snow was involved in two attacks last month as well as the fatal attack last week
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said his staff were most likely traumatized by the gruesome scene
Emergency services at the location of the fatal dog attack
‘This is not something that is normal for us. We don’t normally have to defend patients from animals or ourselves. The firefighters in this instance were very heroic fighting off these pit bulls with pickaxes and pipes to try and get to the patients,’ Hood said.
‘Two people were mauled, with a confirmed fatality who was treated and given blood on the scene, together with a female in critical condition. Another individual was bitten on the hand and also taken to the hospital.
‘It has been a horrific scene and horrific experience for everyone involved including firefighters, which was essentially a rescue to save themselves,’ Hood said.
Hood said that the entire experience had likely ’emotionally scarred’ the firefighters. ‘Nobody expects to go out and fight dogs in a situation like they did today,’ he said.
Both women who were attacked were taken to University Hospital for treatment. One was in critical condition after the attack but her current state is not known.