San Antonio man mauled by dog loses left forearm

San Antonio man mauled by dog loses left forearm

The city’s Animal Care Services agency issued the citations to Gregory Palmer, 54, in connection with the Sept. 5 mauling of Paul Anthony Striegl Jr., agency spokeswoman Lisa Norwood said.

RELATED: Elderly Air Force vet mauled, killed by neighbor’s dogs

Striegl, 47, was hospitalized after the attack, initially in critical condition. On Tuesday, his brother told the Express-News that doctors at Brooke Army Medical Center amputated Striegl’s left forearm over the weekend. Striegl was under sedation Tuesday, his brother said.

Striegl’s right arm remains heavily bandaged, and he can wiggle the fingers on that hand, his brother said. Striegl has stitches extending from his stomach to his side as a result of the attack. He has received multiple blood transfusions.

“Right now, he’s been not doing too good,” brother David Striegl said. “They have him sedated because they thought he was having a stroke the other day. So he was taken for a CT scan. He had had a stroke like a year or two ago. He’s had a heart attack before.”

Of the citations issued to Palmer, two were for his dogs leaving their property while free of restraint, Norwood said. The third citation was issued because one of the dogs bit Striegl.

“It is against the law for your pet to bite someone,” Norwood said by email.

ACS refused to provide copies of the citations, saying they aren’t public records because the case has not yet been adjudicated in court.

RELATED: Fatal dog mauling capped family’s reign of terror, neighbors say

A criminal citation is a less severe form of holding someone accountable for an alleged violation of the law. It is not as serious as being arrested on criminal charges filed by the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office or pursued by law enforcement agencies with arrest powers. 

Citations are usually resolved through hearings or trials in San Antonio’s municipal courts.

The attack occurred just after 11:30 a.m. Sept. 5 as Paul Striegl was sitting in a chair in his fenced-in front yard smoking a cigarette, according to neighbors at the mobile home park in the 9500 block of Heidelberg Street, just north of the city of Windcrest.

Palmer was at work, but someone at his residence let his dogs outside. The canines — both unsterilized American Staffordshire terriers, one male and one female — slipped under the fence to reach Striegl. The male dog bit him on the arms and stomach, authorities said. Investigators later determined the female dog did not attack Striegl.

The female was reported to be in heat, and the male dog is said to be very protective of her.

Striegl had never had problems with the dogs before, his brother said.

“He said when the… dog started attacking, that’s all that he remembers from there,” David Striegl said. “The only thing he remembers after that is being lifted into the ambulance.”

ACS picked up both dogs and held them in quarantine. The female dog was sterilized before Palmer was allowed to reclaim her.

San Antonio’s Code of Ordinances on animals prohibits allowing dogs to roam off their property. It further states that any “dog that bites a person or domestic animal while the dog was found free of restraint shall be required to be sterilized within 30 days following the quarantine period.”

If a dog is impounded at the ACS facility, the director may require that sterilization be completed by the agency at the owner’s expense, the city ordinance states.

Palmer’s male dog remains in ACS custody. A municipal court hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday to determine the dog’s fate.

Municipal Court No. 4 Judge Lisa Gonzales could order the animal euthanized if she concludes that it caused serious bodily injury by attacking, biting or mauling a person, a city spokesman said.

Palmer can attend the hearing and bring his own attorney. He declined to comment on the attack until after the hearing.

The proceeding won’t focus on the criminal citations against Palmer. Those will be considered at a later court date.

The hearing also has nothing to do with any criminal charges that the San Antonio Police Department and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office could pursue against Palmer. No such charges have been filed so far. The police investigation is continuing.

Striegl is a dog lover and doesn’t want anything to happen to Palmer’s dogs, even after the attack, his brother said.

But David Striegl expressed concern about his brother’s well-being if both of Palmer’s dogs are allowed to return to the trailer park.

“He doesn’t have anywhere else to live,” he said of his brother. “So if he makes it through this, he’s going to go back. And what keeps the dogs from attacking him the next time?”

The incident was the latest in a series of dog maulings in San Antonio this year.

In February on the West Side, dogs killed Air Force veteran Ramon Najera Jr., 81, of Leon Valley, and injured his 74-year-old wife. The victims were visiting a friend in the 2800 block of Depla when the two dogs escaped from a fenced yard next door.

The animals’ owners — Christian Alexander Moreno, 31, and his wife, Abilene Schnieder Moreno, 31 — are charged with dangerous dog attack causing death and recklessly causing injury to an elderly person, both felonies.

Najera’s wife has filed a civil lawsuit against the couple and the owner of the home where they lived, Carlos Moreno, seeking damages of more than $1 million.

This month, a man was arrested after his dog allegedly attacked and injured a 68-year-old man in a far West Side neighborhood.

The victim suffered puncture wounds to both legs, his head and his groin, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said. A neighbor who heard screams ran outside and pulled the dog off the victim. 

The animal’s owner, Kelly Max Oshaughnessy, 33, faces felony charges including recklessly causing serious bodily injury to an elderly person and dangerous dog attack.

To report a dangerous animal, call 311 (210-207-6000). If an animal poses an immediate threat to life, call 911.

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