Evidence photos reveal grisly scene of pit bull attack

KING 5's Elisa Hahn reports.

Newly released evidence photos and an investigation report detail a vicious dog attack on a United Parcel Service driver last month.

Investigators have handed the case over to the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office, which is now considering felony dog bite charges.

On September 13, Orting Valley firefighters and Pierce County Animal Control arrived at a gated property on 116th Street East near Puyallup.

It is a business that works on FedEx delivery trucks.

But the victim, in this case, works for UPS. Kevin Backlund, a UPS driver, entered the yard to deliver a package, and four pit bulls attacked him.

In a radio dispatch recording, a dispatcher said, "He's a UPS driver and he's been attacked by five pit bulls that are still currently outside. He's locked outside of a trailer on the property."

Backlund jumped on the back of a flatbed trailer to try to get away from the dogs.

"I saw the man up on the trailer," said neighbor Brittney Soderland. "I didn't know what to do. I wasn't going to go in there."

Soderland said she saw blood on the driver's arms and legs. The photos of the scene hint at how bad his injuries were. They show blood stains on various pieces of equipment in the yard, including two blood-stained boots.

PHOTOS: Scene of pit bull attack on UPS driver (Warning: blood appears in photos)

The incident report from Orting Valley Fire and Rescue said: "The driver was covered in blood, on top of a small trailer (4' off the ground) and had 1 of the pit bulls latched on his leg."

According to the report, an unidentified woman standing outside the gate told the firefighters, "The driver was trespassing and kicked one of my dogs. They are going to kill him."

"Didn't want them on the property, didn't allow them on the property," said Chief Zane Gibson of Orting Valley Fire and Rescue.
     
Gibson said when the woman refused to open the gate, the responders had no other choice but to ram it.

"The battalion chief observed him, feared for his life. That's why he made the decision to ram the gate and get him out," said Gibson.

Backlund, a 59-year-old former Nevada Highway Patrol trooper, suffered deep bites to both legs, tearing into the muscle and down to the bone in the left leg.

His attorney said he just had 132 stitches removed.

Animal control officers retrieved both boots from the property, which the dogs had pulled off.

They took a photo of a small "Beware of Dog" sticker, about the size of a hand, stuck to a pole on the fence.
   
An investigator asked the UPS manager "If there were any instruction in their database not to enter the property and he stated there was not."

When KING 5 went to the property, we found a dented gate and a small bright "Psycho Dog Zone" sign inside the fence.

The men who were working at the business referred us to an attorney, Mike Stewart, who declined to comment on the case until their investigation was finished.
    
As for the woman who refused to let paramedics gain access to the yard, we learned she's not associated with that property at all.

"She definitely doesn't live there. She lives down the road," said Soderland. "She kept saying my dogs, my dogs, but they definitely weren't her dogs."

Backlund is still on antibiotics and pain-killers and goes to a clinic to have his wounds cleaned every other day.

He released a statement through his attorney Chris Davis:

“On behalf of myself and my family, we want to express our deepest gratitude to Orting Valley Fire Department Chief Steve Goodwin for his immediate assessment and courageous actions that we believe saved my life.  The two Orting Valley Fire Department Paramedics that stabilized me in the medic car en-route to Puyallup Good Samaritan Hospital.  To Dr. Gates and his surgical team for the outstanding care that I received.  Lastly, but not least, we are grateful for the outpour of support and prayer from our church family and the entire faith community.”

As vicious as the attack was, Stewart said there is much more to be learned about the case, and they are appealing the "dangerous dog" status.
  
If the appeal is unsuccessful, the dogs will be destroyed. 

© 2017 KING-TV


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