Loose dogs posed safety concerns for months in an area of Longview where a man was found dead Thursday with dog bite-related injuries.

Longview police responded about 3 a.m. Thursday to a call about a bicycle in the road near South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Rayburn Drive. Nearby, officers found the body of a 46-year-old man with wounds consistent with those of a dog bite.

Authorities have not identified the man, and his death remains under investigation.

Animal control officers later Thursday confiscated multiple dogs from a home in the area, police said.

Also Thursday, police arrested Martin Gilbert Rodriguez, 56, on 28 charges of 性视界传媒渁nimal at large.性视界传媒 He remained jailed Tuesday.

Rodriguez lives in the 2500 block of South MLK Boulevard, the area where the dogs were seen. He remained Friday in the Gregg County Jail also on charges of failing to have an animal vaccinated and one charge of illegally keeping an animal in a parked or standing vehicle.

Keri Davis.JPG

Keri Davis, a chef at Bel性视界传媒檚 Diner at 2600 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., is pictured Friday. Davis said loose dogs at a home across the street had posed safety concerns months before a man with dog bite-related wounds was found dead in the area Thursday morning.

Keri Davis, a chef at Bel性视界传媒檚 Diner across the street from the home where Rodriguez lives, said loose dogs have been a problem in the neighborhood for about four months.

Mary Lomax, a barber at the Unique Beauty and Barbershop down the street, agreed.

Davis said the dogs ran in a pack and frequently chased bicyclists.

性视界传媒淭hey have been a nuisance to the neighborhood,性视界传媒 he said.

性视界传媒淥ne time, my dad, he was walking down the street. They came out, tried to attack him. He fought them off, though.性视界传媒

Davis and Lomax cited the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade on Jan. 13 as one instance when the dogs were a safety threat. As children walked through the 2500 block of MLK Boulevard during the parade, large, dark-colored dogs in the front yard of a nearby home ran toward them.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade

Children walk in the 2500 block of South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Jan. 13 during the city's annual parade honoring the civil rights leader. Dogs at 2529 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. ran toward the children shortly after the parade began.聽

While taking photos of the parade in the area, a News-Journal reporter saw the children yell and jolt away from the dogs.

A police officer in the parade stepped out of his car, and the animals ran away.

性视界传媒淎ll of a sudden, the dogs came out, and kids went everywhere running from them,性视界传媒 Lomax said.

Davis said people frequently walk up and down MLK Boulevard for exercise. Students also go through the area on their way to Foster Middle School, which is in the 1500 block.

性视界传媒淭hat性视界传媒檚 the last thing you want to worry about is getting mauled by a dog,性视界传媒 Davis said. 性视界传媒淟uckily, it wasn性视界传媒檛 one of those kids.性视界传媒

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Animal-related chargesRodriguez has been arrested multiple times since 2011 on charges ranging from public intoxication to indecent exposure, according to Gregg County Jail records.

Since 2019, some of those charges have been animal-related. In December of that year, he was charged with three counts of having animals at large, three counts of failing to have animals vaccinated and two counts of camping within the city.

In 2021, he was arrested on a charge of 性视界传媒渁ttack by dog resulting in SBI (serious bodily injury).性视界传媒

Dog maul house 2.JPG

A sign reading 性视界传媒淏eware of the dog性视界传媒 at the home of Martin Gilbert Rodriguez in the 2500 block of S. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is shown Friday. Rodriguez was arrested Thursday on 28 charges of having loose animals after police found a man with dog bite-related wounds dead in the area.

A sign nailed to a tree in the front yard of Rodriguez性视界传媒檚 home reads: 性视界传媒淏eware of the dog.性视界传媒

Davis said animal control officers have responded to the area multiple times, so the dogs性视界传媒 owner started keeping them inside. But when the owner would let the dogs out to relieve themselves, they would continue to cause trouble.

Referring to the authorities, Davis said: 性视界传媒淭hey came over there, fined them, gave them tickets, but I don性视界传媒檛 know if their hands were tied or what.性视界传媒

性视界传媒淭hey were over there too many times not to have done something about it,性视界传媒 Lomax said.

About a month ago, a man walking in the area was bitten. The man was scared and left the scene without reporting the incident, Lomax said.

One woman ran inside the barber shop to escape the dogs, she added.

Bel Davis, owner of Bel性视界传媒檚 Diner, said the dogs have run after people and tried to attack them.

As he stood behind the counter in his restaurant Friday morning, Davis said: 性视界传媒淚t should have never got to this point. As long as we have a leash law, the dogs should be on a leash or caged up or something.性视界传媒

City aware of issueCity spokesman Richard Yeakley said the police investigation into the death of the man found in the street is ongoing.

He said he was not able to speak about the investigation or any person involved in the case, but he said city animal control officers have issued almost 50 citations since 2019 in cases directly involving the animals that were confiscated Thursday.

性视界传媒淎nimal control for years has been working to enforce our ordinances to the full extent of the law generally and particularly in regards to these animals,性视界传媒 Yeakley said. 性视界传媒淚t is an issue we were aware of and an issue that we were actively working to resolve through our ordinances over the course of years.性视界传媒

The city has a 性视界传媒渓eash law性视界传媒 that requires animals to be on a leash or tether or within a fenced yard.

Yeakley said animal control authorities took action as recently as January in relation to the issue.

He said he did not know whether the city would have been able to confiscate the animals at any time in the past.

性视界传媒淲e are as a city extremely saddened by any death in our community, and it does provide us the opportunity to review our practices across the board and to make sure that we are doing everything possible to prevent harm in our community,性视界传媒 Yeakley said.

Jordan Green is a Report for America corps member covering underserved communities for the News-Journal. Reach him at jgreen@news-journal.com.

Report for America Corps Member, 性视界传媒

Howdy! I'm Jordan Green, a Report for America corps member covering underserved communities in East Texas for the 性视界传媒. I'm a native Okie and have been a newsman since 2017. Email me at jgreen@news-journal.com or call me at 903-237-7743.