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Las Cruces woman recalls ‘shocking and scary’ pit bull attack

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Before she could react, a woman said she was attacked by two pit bulls while walking in her central Las Cruces neighborhood.

“It happened so quick and so fast," said Crystal Abarca. "I was so in shock and scared. It scares me even going down there.”

According to a police report obtained by ABC-7, two victims were bit by two dogs on Picacho Avenue near Tornillo Street, just west of downtown Las Cruces.

Abarca said she saw the two dogs bark at her before escaping under the fence of their owner's home. She shared photos of bite marks on her arm, hand, thigh and chest. She said she was dragged several feet in the attack.

"From there, I’m yelling for help," Abarca recalled. "I can't remember. I was just yelling and yelling for anybody to come out.”

She said another neighbor, who tried to help, was also bit by at least one dog.

After a Las Cruces police officer submitted dangerous dog paperwork with the courts, an animal control supervisor told ABC-7 that a judge determined the dogs were potentially dangerous.

That supervisor explained the owner can keep his dogs after fulfilling a variety of requirements, including vaccinating the dogs for rabies, spaying or neutering them, muzzling them off the property, having them microchipped and have them attend a socialization training.

If the owner does not fulfill those requirements for either dog, "more than likely it will be destroyed," said Gino Jimenez, the animal control supervisor.

Abarca just wants all animal owners to keep their pets secured on their properties and leashed, when off property.

"It could happen to anybody," Abarca said. "If they're going to go at another person and attack them, they should make sure all the time that their dog won't get out."

Tom Scott

Tom Scott is ABC-7’s news operations manager for our New Mexico mobile newsroom.

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.



  1. Put those fucking dogs down! Next it will be child being attacked by them. Sue that jackass if he owns his house and get a lien put on it. If it’s paid for take his house in a suit.

    These stories are always a pitbull.

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