911 tapes released from vicious UPS dog attack
The case continues of a UPS driver who was attacked by multiple dogs in Orting last September. Now, 911 recordings have been released of the vicious incident providing further insight into the events of that day, and how the dog owners responded.
“What struck me about this recording is how remarkably calm he was, which has a lot to do with his training,” said Attorney Chris Davis. “He’s a former law enforcement, state patrol officer, and he’s also trained in martial arts, and he also has EMT training as well.”
Davis represents Kevin Backlund, the UPS driver who was attacked by up to five pit bulls as he was dropping off a package. He returned to the Dori Monson Show to explain recently-released 911 recordings of his client calling for help.
Backlund had just been attacked by the dogs, was bleeding badly, and was trapped on top of a utility trailer when he made the 911 call.
Dispatch: 911, what are you reporting?
Backlund: I’m being attacked by five pit bulls. I’m a UPS driver.
Dispatch: Do you need medical aid?
Backlund: Yes. I’m bit at a vein. I’m bleeding profusely.
Backlund provides an address and the dispatcher contacts emergency crews as the dogs continue to bark in the background; getting louder as the recording continues. He says they are not locked up and they will have to be put down.
Backlund: I’m trapped on a trailer. I’m bleeding profusely out of my left leg …
The 911 dispatcher suggests that he find any sort of club to fight off the dogs. The dispatcher and others on the line don’t seem to understand that he is trapped on a trailer found on the private property, not in his UPS vehicle. One person on the call asks him if he is trapped inside a mobile home. Backlund’s voice trails off at times, muffled by the sounds of dogs barking, even louder at this point.
Backlund: I need help! I’m bleeding badly!
Dispatch: Sir, keep yourself safe. We have the police started and the fire department will be responding. If you can wrap it up…
Backlund: I can’t hear you with the barking.
Dispatch: If you can, wrap it up and hold pressure on it. We are starting help for you …
Backlund: I’m going to try. I’m going to try.
The last thing heard on the recording is more barking as the call is lost. Davis believes this is when a dog jumped up on the trailer and began attacking Backlund again.
“He just didn’t have the time to continue on the phone,” Davis said. “Once one of the dogs jumped up on the trailer and latched onto him, he, of course, had to fight off that dog.”
A woman was on the property during the entire incident. She locked Backlund in and would not allow emergency crews to save him. What happened next has been reported on. You can read about that here.
More 911 recordings
Davis has also obtained 911 recordings of an owner of the property, who called in after the incident.
“Darrell Burgess is one of the owners of the property,” Davis said. “What happened is, the following day after the media reported the story, Darrell got upset and felt the media was not accurately reporting the facts. So what Darrell did was call 911 several times. There’s probably at least 20-25 minutes of 911 recordings where he’s on the phone to the 911 operator, basically giving his side of what happened, even though he wasn’t there.”
According to the 911 recordings, Burgess said he is sad that Backlund received “138 stitches.”
“But the dogs did what they were, I’m not trying to keep pointing at it, the dogs did what they were trained to do,” the 911 recording states. “He came onto our property. He untied the fence. I have rope that ties these gates. When I leave in the morning, they are tied.”
“I feel bad for the guy,” another recording states. “But the sad part about it, those dogs were doing their job. We have $3 million worth of equipment in that lot and the dogs were doing their job.”
Davis argues that, legally, a delivery person has a right to enter onto property to drop off a package.
“When you order a package from FedEx or UPS, you are giving permission for that person to come onto the property and deliver that package to you,” Davis said, noting that there were no “keep out,” or dog warning signs on the property.
Davis said there is a dangerous-dog hearing scheduled in November. A judge will decide the fate of the dogs that have been quarantined since the incident. Davis wants the dogs to be put down. At this point, they are too vicious because of “irresponsible owners,” he said. Authorities are still reviewing the case to see if they will file criminal charges against the dog owners.