PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A man has been arrested after police said his dogs attacked and killed his neighbor in south Phoenix Tuesday morning. According to Phoenix police, 77-year-old Maria Eliza Sebastian Ruiz was on her front porch on Sixth Street near Broadway Road when four Staffordshire terrier mix dogs attacked her without being provoked. She was taken to the hospital where she died.
"The dogs escaped several times. I've called the police on them," said a neighbor who asked not to be identified. "It's terrifying. Terrifying." The neighbor said the dogs have been violent and unruly before, and now, she has to grieve her neighbor's death. "She was sitting on the porch. She wasn't even walking. She was sitting on the porch," the neighbor said.
The dogs belonged to 33-year-old Alejandro Hernandez. Maricopa County Animal Care and Control captured and took custody of his dogs. According to MCACC, they were called out in February of 2020 after five of Hernandez' dogs were loose, and he was issued seven license warnings for the dogs on the property. Then in April of this year, Animal Care was called out again when two of the dogs were loose. They also told him at least once to fix a gate to keep the dogs inside his yard.
The neighbor said it's been so bad she's had to quickly pull her 2-year-old daughter inside. "I picked her up by one arm and literally dragged her and ran inside the house, and the dogs came and tried to attack the fence," she said.
While talking to detectives, Hernandez admitted the dogs had escaped multiple times in the past and had chased after and bitten neighbors, police said. Hernandez was arrested and booked into the Maricopa County jail on one charge of negligent homicide. MCACC confirmed with Arizona's Family all the dogs were put down because of the attack.