UPS driver Kevin Backlund fought off four pit bulls for over 30 minutes when he was attacked while delivering a package to an Orting property in September.
Backlund sat down with KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson to discuss the event and the legal case he has filed against the dogs’ owners.
“I make my presence known as I’m rolling up, honking the horn several times, trying to bring attention that I’m there as I’m getting out, looking for a human presence, rattling the gate, doing basically our protocol. I sensed no danger based on my background and training and field experience and entered the yard,” Backlund told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.
Backlund, who previously worked in law enforcement, said he didn’t see any warning signs until he got much closer to the building on the property.
“The moment that I brought my eyes back to walking level, there they were. Four pit bulls taking positions around me,” he said. “I didn’t hear them. I didn’t see them. They just appeared and the fight, not just the fight, but the fight for my life was on.”
Eventually, Backlund was able to climb to safety atop a flatbed trailer and call 911. While waiting for help to arrive, Backlund said he sensed an “impending feeling of doom.”
“I realize I’m not winning. I can’t win,” he said.
When the Orting Valley Fire Department arrived, Backlund said a woman on the property wouldn’t let them in. She had apparently seen the dogs attack the delivery driver but did not call them off. According to Backlund, the fire department vehicle rammed the locked gate in order to get to him. They pulled up next to the trailer and told Backlund to jump in to avoid the pit bulls.
“I didn’t do a Fosbury Flop, but it wasn’t far from it, diving into the front seat through the passenger window,” he said.
Backlund underwent surgery and received over 150 stitches and staples.
“I’m slowly getting better and hoping for a good, positive outcome,” he said.
Backlund’s attorney, Chris Davis, is working on a lawsuit against the dogs’ owners and others responsible for the property on which his client was attacked.
“Doing this type of work for nearly 25 years, I’ve never had a case where I have had somebody witness the harm and then not do anything,” Davis said. “It’s just reprehensible.”
Although Davis did say it was too soon to estimate how much money he would sue for, since Backlund’s recovery is still ongoing, he did say it will likely be a lot.
“I would have no problem asking for millions of dollars of damages in this case,” he said.
He also urged people with dogs, especially dogs that are more likely to be aggressive, to take extra precautions.
“I support people to own and have dogs and even I support people to have dogs that may be aggressive as far as protecting your property,” he said. “But if you’re going to have that type of animal on your property, you need to do enough to notify others and that means put out warning signs. And you need to do your part as a responsible citizen and neighbor to make sure that nobody enters the property or that the dogs are secured in some way.”