TACOMA, Wash. - The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office says no charges will be filed against the owner of pit bulls that attacked a UPS driver last year and left him in need of 133 stitches for multiple bites, including one that tore through muscle down to the bone of the man's left leg.
The attack happened last September when United Parcel Service driver Kevin Backlund attempted to deliver a package to a property in Puyallup. He entered a gated yard and was attacked by a pack of at least four pit bulls.
Firefighters had to ram through a driveway gate to save Backlund after they were denied entry to the property by a woman who was there.
By the time rescuers reached the driver, he was covered in blood and two pit bulls had sunk their teeth into this legs, trying to pull him off a small trailer where he had climbed in an effort to get away, according to the official report.
But after reviewing the case, the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office said investigators said they could find no witnesses to any prior incidents involving the dogs - and prior incidents are necessary to charge a crime, according to Pierce County Legal Services Manager John Nourse.
However, Backlund is personally suing the owner of the pit bulls.
He says he honked his horn several times after pulling up to the rural property on 116th Street East in Puyallup on Sept. 13, 2017, in his UPS truck.
He said it’s a precaution he takes when he makes a delivery to a home surrounded by a tall cyclone fence. When he didn’t hear any animals barking, Backlund followed up by rattling the fence with his hands.
“I rattled the fence several times, creating quite a racket, and, again, drawing no attention,” Backlund said.
Backlund said he opened the gate and walked about 75 feet toward a building on the property. It was then that he saw a small sign warning people to beware of a dog, but it was too late.
“I was surrounded on all four sides by these pit bulls and with no warning, no provocation whatsoever on my part, they were closing in,” Backlund said. “The fight was on and it wasn’t just the fight, it was the fight of my life.”
Attorney Chris Davis, who is representing Backlund, said his client has been accused of trespassing onto the property. But, Davis said, he had every right to be there.
“Anytime you order a package from UPS or FedEx you are giving consent for that delivery driver to come onto the property to deliver that package,” Davis said.
Davis said there should have been warning signs plastered outside the gate warning people about the dogs.
Pierce County confiscated the dogs after the attack. The dogs have been deemed “dangerous” and remained in the custody of animal control as of January.