Dog owner charged in fatal mauling of a man

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Deputies in Socorro County are investigating the death of a man who was attacked and killed by dogs.

According to the criminal complaint, deputies were called out to Lorella Court in Veguita, New Mexico last Monday.

Upon their arrival, deputies discovered a deceased male victim with torn clothing and several bite marks throughout his body.

The owner of the dogs, Dominic Ribera, told deputies he went outside after he heard his dogs making noise. Ribera said it took him a while to get outside, but once he did, he discovered a man laying on the ground.

Ribera said he was going to attempt CPR on the victim, but later realized he was dead after poking him with a stick.

According to court documents, Ribera discovered the victim at around 11 a.m., but waited nearly three hours before contacting law enforcement.

Ribera said he was waiting for his brother-in-law to arrive at his home to borrow a phone despite the fact that numerous neighbors lived in the area, including the victim’s family.

Leslie Martinez, the victim’s niece, told deputies that neighbors have contacted law enforcement about Ribera’s dogs multiple times, and have even confronted Ribera about chaining his dogs, which he refused to do.

With the help of the Socorro Animal Shelter, deputies seized 10 dogs from Ribera’s property, including a Pitbull mix that deputies shot when they initially arrived.

Ribera has been charged with possession of a dangerous dog, failure to report a death, and tampering with evidence.