PIERCE COUNTY - A UPS driver viciously attacked on the job appeared in court on Thursday to make sure the pit bulls that attacked him won’t do it to anybody else.
In September, Kevin Backlund was delivering a package in Puyallup when four pit bulls came after him. Backlund was severely injured and had to get more than 100 stitches.
His condition will not be back to normal for a while, but Backlund says he is working hard to recover and would like to return to UPS to work.
The pit bulls that attacked him are being quarantined by the Tacoma Humane Society. Backlund has hired a civil attorney and they are now asking a judge to uphold the quarantine and order the owners to do a number of safety measures before getting the dogs back.
At the time of the incident the property had a sign up but Backlund’s attorney showed Q13 News a picture which showed the sign partially covered up by brush.
Attorney Chris Davis says the owners of the dogs didn’t do enough to warn people of the dangerous pit bulls. Backlund, who is a former Nevada State Trooper, used his training and his belt to fight off the dogs.
He climbed on top of a trailer and called 911 for help.
“I’m trapped in a trailer I’m bleeding profusely,” Backlund said.
The Davis Law Firm also released a 911 call made by one of the owners of the dogs. The man could be heard saying that he felt sad for Backlund but that there were $3 million worth of equipment at the location and that the dogs did what they were trained to do.
There are several owners of the dogs and none of them showed up to court on Thursday.
Davis says their main defense is that they contacted UPS about the dangerous dogs and that UPS failed to alert Backlund about the property.
“Even though UPS is the employer they didn’t own the dogs and they were not aware of the viciousness nature of the dogs nor how many dogs, legally it comes down to the owner of the animals, if you have animals, multiple animals trained to kill an individual then you need to do a lot to warn people who approaches the property,” Davis said.
“This is just a sad situation and I will make sure a situation like this never occurs,” Backlund said.
When asked if he thought the pit bulls should be put down, Backlund said that should be left up to the judge.
But he does want the owners to get better signs and enclosures. They also want owners to purchase insurance on the dogs and a dangerous dog license. A decision from the judge is expected in the next 10 days.
Backlund is also working on a possible civil claim.
As for criminal charges, no word yet on a decision from the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office.
Backlund’s condition will not be back to normal for a while but Backlund says he is working hard to recover and would like to return to UPS as a driver.