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Lawyer: UPS driver who was attacked by pit bulls wants owners held responsible

Kevin Backlund while recovering in a hospital room. (Photo from David Law Group)

TACOMA, Wash. - The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office is not filing charges against the owners of four dogs that mauled a UPS driver last fall.

Kevin Backlund told KOMO in January he didn’t see a sign warning visitors there were dangerous dogs behind the gate. He said that shortly after the gate closed he was surrounded.

“There was no retreat, it was ongoing and in the attack it wasn’t one, two or three, it was all four at once,” he said.

Backlund declined to comment Tuesday. His lawyer, Chris Davis, told KOMO his client is devastated that criminal charges won’t be filed.

“He wants to see these owners held responsible. He thinks it was easily preventable that they knew these dogs were trained to attack people,” Davis said.

Davis said his client is not back at work. He said the man spends his days juggling doctors and counseling appointments.

The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement they needed proof that the people who owned the dogs knew the animals were a danger.

“The deputy prosecutor who handled the case said that law enforcement couldn’t find evidence of a prior incident,” office spokesman James Lynch said in a statement.

Backlund is suing the dog owners in Pierce County Superior Court.

Davis said one of the owners told authorities the dogs did what they were supposed to do.

“Those dogs were doing what they were trained to do, which was to hunt a person who came onto that property and viciously attack them and potentially kill them,” Davis said.

When Backlund arrived at the rural property on Sept. 13 he honked his horn several times to alert anyone inside. He told KOMO it was something he regularly did when he arrives at homes surrounded by fences.

Backlund said he didn’t hear any barking before he opened the gate.

“I rattled the fence several times, creating quite a racket, and, again, drawing no attention,” Backlund said in January.

For more than 30 minutes Backlund punched and kicked. He scurried to higher ground and pried jaws off of his leg. He lost both boots trying to get away.

Backlund was covered in cuts and gashes; his hamstring was severed. He said he was woozy from the massive blood loss, but continued to fight the snapping dogs.

“Standing in my own blood, and as horrifying and shocking as that may sound, it’s what kept me upright because it becomes sticky and allowed me from losing my balance,” he said.

Backlund said he was able to quickly dial 911 and was rescued by Orting Fire and Rescue. He said Battalion Chief Steven Goodwin drove through a locked gate and ordered Backlund to jump onto the hood.

Backlund said he suffered multiple injuries in the attack, including a severed hamstring.

"He’s still struggling emotionally. He still has, from time to time flashbacks, nightmares, I think it’s going to take a while for him to get over this,” Davis said on Tuesday.

Davis’ law firm said the dogs were put down by Pierce County authorities in January.

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