Dog attack victim died from blood loss

May 30—TUCUMCARI — A jogger encountered the pack of five dogs shortly before they fatally mauled a Tucumcari man in February, and two men approached the bloody scene when the victim still was alive.

That's according to a state police report, which also showed the victim died of blood loss after the attack.

The 21-page report was issued by New Mexico State Police agent Eric Fouratt. The Quay County Sun obtained the report last week through a public-records request submitted shortly after the Feb. 1 attack near 11th Street and Gamble Avenue.

Mary Olimpia Montoya, 51, and her son Kristopher Jaquaris Morris, 27, both of Tucumcari, were charged with prohibited acts (dangerous dog; death of a person) and involuntary manslaughter (negligent act), both felonies, for the death of Stanley Hartt, 64. Their cases are working their way through the court system, with Montoya issuing a not-guilty plea during her arraignment last week.

Former Mesalands Community College Athletic Director Paul Moss said was jogging when he saw five dogs coming over a hill toward him about 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 1, according to the state police report.

Moss said he waved a bag at the dogs to deter them from approaching. He said the dogs passed him and continued down the road, where Moss said he saw in the darkness what appeared to be a man.

"Mr. Moss stated the male turned east as Mr. Moss continued to jog," the report stated. "Once Mr. Moss was down the road he could hear as he described 'moaning and groaning' coming from the east."

Moss told police he retrieved two pieces of metal from the college and walked to where he heard the moaning. He saw a pack of dogs, and he began to hit the ground with a piece of metal. The dogs initially began to walk toward Moss but returned to biting and dragging "either a person or dog."

Moss said he could not see well because the area was dark. He said he ran back to the college in search of help. Moss and Robert Mahanna then drove to the scene in a pickup.

"They were able to scare the dogs away and that's when they observed a severely injured male," the report stated.

Mahanna, who works at the college's foundry as an instructor in metal casting, said when Moss came to the foundry building to get help, Moss told him he could hear a man yelling who was being attacked by dogs.

When Mahanna and Moss reached the scene, Mahanna said "debris was everywhere," and he called 911 when he realized there was a man lying there.

"During this time, the dogs were still near the area and starting to return. Mr. Mahanna was honking the horn on his truck, successfully scaring the dogs away," the report stated.

Mahanna noted there was no lighting on the street.

"When looking at the gentleman, he stated there was slight movement coming from him, along with groaning in pain," the report stated. "Mr. Mahanna said the gentleman was on his stomach ...

Mahanna was able to see a 'pretty bad' injury on one of the legs of the gentleman and informed emergency communications that an ambulance was necessary."

By the time emergency medical workers arrived, Hartt had died at the scene.

Police observed trails of blood, indicating Hartt had been attacked down the street before he fell face down.

Office of Medical Examiner agent Amy Jo Makenna examined the body at the scene.

"Throughout Stanley Hartt's body, there were multiple areas where the flesh had been torn away and had bite marks indicated by puncture wounds throughout his body," the report stated.

The evidence at the scene indicated Hart was walking near Gamble Avenue and South 11th Street when dogs began attacking his legs first, though he tried to fight back and move to the east.

"Because of the viciousness and number of dogs, Mr. Hartt was overcome by the animals and was killed on the roadway," the report stated.

Dr. Harley Schainost of the Office of Medical Examiner conducted a preliminary autopsy on Hartt. She noted numerous injuries and "gaping defects" to his arms and legs.

"Dr. Schainost said he lost a large amount of blood because of the injuries, leading to his death," the report stated.

One of the dogs, later identified as a pitbull mix named Zina, was euthanized that night in the 1500 block of South Sixth Street by a Quay County sheriff's deputy's firearm "to prevent any other attacks to the public."

The other dogs were captured and impounded at the city kennel as evidence in the case.

A sheriff's deputy followed one of the dogs to Montoya and Morris' home in the 400 block of West High Street. She identified photos of the dogs involved the attack as hers.

Montoya said Zina and the other dogs jumped or broke through their backyard fence that officers reported was "in severe disrepair." She said Zina had bitten two other people and would growl at people walking by the residence. Montoya said Zina "was only her son's dog when convenient," noting it would not be fed if her son didn't feed it.

When informed it was Zina that was euthanized after the attack, she responded: "I had a feeling it was Zina that was shot," police records show.