Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed the unfortunate demise of Paul Striegl Jr., a 47-year-old man, who passed away at a local hospital on Sunday. This incident occurred nearly a month after a neighbor’s dog allegedly attacked him. Initially, three citations were issued against the dog’s owner, but the San Antonio police have stated that he will not be charged with the victim’s death.
Expressing his deep anguish, Charles ‘Chuck’ Sutton, the victim’s father-in-law, said, “I’m very angry. My son-in-law has been killed, taken away from me by the man’s dogs.” The incident unfolded on September 5 when the San Antonio police responded to a distress call regarding a dog bite in the 9500 block of Heidelberg Street. According to the police, a guest at the neighboring house had let two Staffordshire Terriers outside, leading to the dogs crawling under the fence and brutally mauling Striegl, who was innocently smoking a cigarette in his yard.
Striegl suffered severe injuries to his upper body, arms, and torso and was immediately rushed to Brooke Army Medical Center. As a result of the attack, Striegl’s left arm had to be amputated, adding to the tragedy. Sutton, overwhelmed with emotions, tearfully expressed, “To be taken out in such a way… it’s heart-wrenching, it’s gut-wrenching.” He strongly believes that the dogs’ owner, Gregory Palmer, aged 56, should face charges for the incident.
However, the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) has indicated that it is unlikely Palmer will face any criminal charges. They extended their deepest condolences to the Striegl family and emphasized that the dog responsible for the attack had been euthanized following an investigation by Animal Care Services. Although three criminal citations against the owner are pending prosecution in municipal court, SAPD’s Homicide Unit concluded a thorough investigation and does not anticipate further criminal charges. The SAPD spokesperson emphasized the significance of responsible pet ownership, urging local pet owners to regularly check their fences and gates for any vulnerabilities.
The anticipated absence of legal consequences for Palmer’s actions has sparked disappointment and concern among various individuals, including Texas Representative Liz Campos, a Democrat from San Antonio. Campos expressed her dissatisfaction, stating, “It’s disappointing to know that this man passed away and there’s only citations, so I am going to make an inquiry about it. I have been in conversations with the City of San Antonio, and that’s just not acceptable. We’ve lost another life.”
This tragic incident marks the second deadly dog attack in San Antonio this year. In February, an 81-year-old man named Ramon Najera was fatally mauled in the 2800 block of Depla Street, while his wife suffered critical injuries. In that case, the owners of the Staffordshire Terriers, Christian Moreno and Abilene Schnieder, were charged with felonies and could face up to 22 years of imprisonment if convicted. The contrasting outcomes of these investigations have raised questions and prompted Campos to seek answers regarding the discrepancy.
Campos has been advocating for a Dangerous Dog Bill and successfully passed it in the state legislature earlier this year. However, the bill was ultimately vetoed by Governor Greg Abbott. Undeterred, Campos has remained in contact with the Governor’s Office and plans to resubmit the bill on October 9. The proposed legislation aims to streamline the reporting process for aggressive and dangerous dogs and elevate deadly dog attacks to automatic felony status.
As the community mourns the loss of Paul Striegl Jr. and contemplates the actions taken against the dog owner, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive legislation to address the challenges posed by dangerous dogs, ensuring the safety of the general public.