BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – Eleven people were detained after witnesses reported seeing the individuals sacrificing animals in a garage at a home in West Bexar County, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies were dispatched to a home in the 11400 block of Bronze Sand Road on Friday evening for an animal cruelty call.
Neighbors said they saw several people in the garage sacrificing animals with knives, BCSO said.
When deputies arrived, they said they saw dead chickens, goats and other animals in the garage, as well as some animal heads.
The Sheriff’s Office said several people, who were detained at the scene, claimed it was a religious sacrifice. Some of the detainees were seen wearing all white.
"There was a lady that appeared to be cutting up meat or some type of animal parts and a person holding up a chicken, draining blood into some type of container," said Sgt. Elizabeth Gonzalez, with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators also found injured animals in other parts of the house. It's not clear how long any of the animals, dead or alive, have been there.
The surviving animals received medical attention. The 11 arrested face charges of cruelty to livestock animals.
What neighbors are saying:
"It sounded like a man moaning, but I heard the goat. It didn't sound like it was coming from a human," Gabriel Benavides said. “It is very unfortunate that happened, and I guess bizarre would be the biggest word because that happened in my neighborhood. I have been here all of my years of living and have never seen anything like that."
I am “very shocked because it is not something you hear every day, so it is not something that happens here," Tony Jimenez said. "I understand people got freedom of religion, but that kind of stuff doesn't need to happen here."
The Sheriff’s Office said the following people were arrested and charged with cruelty to livestock animals:
Ivan Felipe Gonzalez, 24
Alexander Gene Campos, 23
Carmen Maria Gonzalez-Trujillo, 57
Luis Rodriguez-Ortiz, 40
Roberto Talamantez, 55
Ariel Torres Arteaga, 39
Irma Garza Talamantez, 64
Cynthia Gabriell Martinez, 29
Ramon Patino Jr., 65
Liza Mercado, 46
Marie Galan Murica, 65
Top Row: Carmen Maria Gonzalez-Trujillo, Ivan Felipe Gonzalez, Liza Mercado, Luis Rodriguez-Ortiz
Middle Row: Arteaga Ariel Torres, Roberto Talamantez, Cynthia Martinez, Marie Murica
Bottom Row: Ramon Patino, Irma Talamantez, Alexander Campos