Crime

Dogs that attacked UPS driver to be euthanized. ‘Public is now safe from these dogs’

UPS driver mauled by pit bulls tells harrowing tale to KIRO7 News

On Dec. 1, 2017, Kevin Backlund tearfully tells KIRO7 News how four pit bulls silently surrounded him at an Orting home and then attacked. The dogs were eventually euthanized.
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On Dec. 1, 2017, Kevin Backlund tearfully tells KIRO7 News how four pit bulls silently surrounded him at an Orting home and then attacked. The dogs were eventually euthanized.

The four pit bulls that mauled a UPS driver in the Puyallup area will be euthanized, according to multiple sources.

A timetable for putting down the dogs — Laurentisis, LJ, Zero and Lexi — has not been determined contrary to reports in the media that they would be euthanized Wednesday, said Laverne Pitts of the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County.

Kevin Backlund, 59, was attacked by the dogs on Sept. 13 while delivering a package to the property. The retired Nevada State Patrol trooper needed more than 133 stitches for 36 wounds sustained in the attack.

Backlund was not available for comment on Wednesday but issued a statement through the Seattle-based Davis Law Group: “I am a dog guy. I love dogs. It is sad when any dog has to be put down. I believe that no breed of dog is ‘born bad’. People turn dogs into killers. The dogs that attacked me did what they were raised to do, what they were trained to do. Although I am saddened when any dog is euthanized, I am very happy that the dogs that attacked me will never have the opportunity to attack anyone else. The public is now safe from these dogs.”

Ian Waldron, a spokesman for the law firm, says putting down the dogs will not affect the lawsuit attorney Chris Davis filed against the dogs’ owners earlier this month in Pierce County Superior Court.

Jason Owens and Darryl Burgess, who live and work on the property, knew “that their pit bull dogs were extremely vicious and dangerous, and that the animals had been specifically trained to seriously injure and/or kill people who entered onto the property,” according to the lawsuit. Backlund is asking for unspecified damages.

Backlund was reportedly attacked after entering a gate to deliver a package. A report filed by Orting Valley Fire Chief Dave Goodwin says Backlund, who has extensive martial arts training, removed his belt and used it to defend himself.

Goodwin was in a department SUV when he responded to the call. At the scene, a woman refused to open the gate or bring the dogs under control, according to Goodwin’s report. The report states that she said, “The driver was trespassing and kicked one of my dogs. They are going to kill him.”

When Goodwin told her to open the gate, she swore at him, accused him of trespassing and threatened to call police. The woman reportedly was not associated with the property.

Goodwin wrote that when a second dog bit into Backlund’s leg, “It appeared to me that the driver was getting pulled off the trailer and I now feared for his life.”

Goodwin drove the SUV through the chain link gate and to the trailer, where he instructed Backlund to jump onto the roof of his vehicle. But the report says the distance was too far. Goodwin repositioned the vehicle so Backlund could crawl through the open passenger window while kicking off a pit bull attached to his leg. The dogs had pulled off both Backlund’s shoes.

Backlund was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital where he underwent surgery. Backlund credited his police officer and martial arts training for enabling him to fight off additional injuries and for saving his life, according to law office staff.

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