Woman arrested after dog attacks 3-year-old girl outside Houston restaurant

Investigators said dog had bitten two other people

Jennifer Leane Romano, 46, has been charged with tampering/fabricating physical evidence and injury to a child.
Jennifer Leane Romano, 46, has been charged with tampering/fabricating physical evidence and injury to a child. (HCSO)

HOUSTON – The owner of a dog that attacked a 3-year-old girl at a suburban Houston restaurant last month has been charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence.

Jennifer Romano, 46, was charged on Monday in the Jan. 9 attack on Ronin Waldroup. Authorities allege that Romano’s dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Kingston, bit Ronin in the face during an unprovoked attack as the girl and her family were waiting in line to order at a restaurant in the Houston suburb of Spring.

Ronin received at least 14 stitches after the attack and she is expected to undergo plastic surgery to lessen the disfigurement of her face, according to court records.

Following last month’s attack, Kingston was euthanized by authorities.

Authorities allege Romano fled the restaurant and told Ronin’s father that the attack was his daughter’s fault, according to a probable cause affidavit. Romano is from Shenandoah, located north of Houston.

“Jennifer Romano faces serious charges. This is a tragedy. We are praying for this child,” John Kovach, Romano’s attorney said Tuesday in a statement.

Investigators with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said they discovered that Kingston had bitten two other people and that Romano had another dog that had seriously injured a woman in 2013.

The woman injured in 2013 was later awarded more than $1.3 million in a lawsuit she had filed against Romano.