'They were tearing flesh from my body': UPS driver recounts pit bull attack
PUYALLUP, Wash. -- UPS driver Kevin Backlund fought back tears in court Thursday as he recounted being attacked by four pit bulls in September near Puyallup.
The attack left Backlund with more than 100 stitches.
During a court hearing Thursday, the dogs' owner, Jason Owens, tried to get his dogs back.
Owens, through his attorney, claimed the sender of the package was suppose to warn UPS about the dogs on the property. But that didn't get through.
When Backlund was delivering a package Sept. 13 north of Orting, he said he was attacked by the pack of dogs.
"I observed a pack of pit bulls that had taken positions around me that approached me, obviously in silence," Backlund said. "And then the fight was on."
Backlund said there was no 'beware of dogs' warning on the property and no warning on his UPS driver alerts.
On that day, he said the dogs had the upper hand.
"They were biting and tearing flesh from my body," Backlund said. He said he sought refuge on a utility trailer, but the dogs wouldn't let go.
Backlund called out to a woman standing outside the gate. "And she was yelling at me for trespassing stating I deserved to die and that she was going to shoot me," Backlund said.
He managed to call 911.
Orting Valley Fire & Rescue Lieutenant Steve Goodwin responded to the 911 call and said he crashed the gate to the property with his fire rig so Backlund could jump through the open passenger side window.
"If they got him on the ground I did not think he was going to survive," Goodwin testified in court on Thursday.
Evidence of the emotional and physical toll continued during court as Backlund recounted that he's a former Nevada state patrol trooper.
"I went through the longest academy in the country, the Nevada Highway Patrol. So I can take quite a bit. But the people you love and you hurt them. I don't have the resistance for that," he said.
The hearing officer will decide in two weeks if the dogs will be determined to be listed as dangerous and possibly be returned to the owner with strict guidelines.
There's still the chance the owner will face criminal prosecution in which case the dogs might face being put to sleep. And at that point they also might pin down who was to blame for not alerting UPS.