Owner of dog that attacked 3-year-old in Texas restaurant charged with injury to child

SPRING, Texas -- Jennifer Romano, the owner whose dog attacked a 3-year-old girl earlier this month and left her with severe injuries to her face, has been booked into jail and charged in connection with the incident.

On Jan. 9, the dog bit 3-year-old Ronin Waldroup at the Loose Caboose restaurant in Old Town Spring in Texas. As the little girl entered the restaurant, the dog, which was seen wearing a service vest, bit her face, family members said.

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The girl's family said they normally wouldn't ask for this, but they feel it needs to be done since there have been other issues with the dog in the past.

In a surveillance video of the attack obtained by ABC7's sister station ABC13, Romano and the dog are seen walking down the sidewalk with the girl's father, James Waldroup, walking not far behind her. The video does not include audio, but body language indicates an exchange between the two.

Romano then got in a car with a man and left. Multiple witnesses at the scene who spoke with authorities confirmed the description of the dog involved and stated the incident was unprovoked.

According to court documents, authorities were able to get in touch with the man who fled with Romano from the scene. The man reportedly asked about the condition of the 3-year-old victim and identified Romano as the owner. He added that Romano fled the scene because she wanted to protect her dog, Kingston. He also stated that Romano told him if she couldn't have the dog, she would kill herself and went on to blame the incident on the 3-year-old.

According to court documents, Romano was contacted by a Montgomery County Animal Control officer on Jan. 13 about contacting their office. After multiple notices, officers arrived at Romano's apartment on Jan. 14, and despite being home, Romano reportedly refused to answer the door.

Days after the incident, Romano's dog, Kingston, was taken into custody by authorities and held at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. After a hearing, the dog was euthanized.

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The girl's family members want the dog's owner to take responsibility for what happened. ABC13's Mycah Hatfield shares their story in the video above. WARNING: Some of the images may be graphic.

Now, almost a month since the incident, Romano has been charged with injury to a child and tampering with fabricating evidence.

Court documents show authorities also interviewed multiple witnesses, some including a past roommate of Romano, who told authorities Kingston had bit her once in the face in 2020.

Documents also state that in the most recent incident involving the 3-year-old, Romano allegedly acted recklessly by continuously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk of which she was aware that a person would sustain bodily injury by bringing Kingston into a public place without a muzzle.

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A 3-year-old girl was bitten by a dog in a service vest while at a restaurant in Old Town Spring. Now, new surveillance video from the restaurant gives a closer look at how it all unfolded.

The video above is from a previous report.
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