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Investigation Reports: UPS Driver Attacked By Four Pitbulls

Updated on: 11/22/2019

The following are excerpts from Pierce County Sheriff’s Department investigation reports obtained via public disclosure request. 

Incident No. 1725600835.1

Jurisdiction Agency: Pierce County Sheriff Department
Report Date: 9/14/2017 12:38:52

Incident Date: 9/13/2017 11:30:00
Incident Location: 15514 116TH St E, Puyallup, WA 98374
Victim: Backlund, Kevin R; UPS Driver
Incident Synopsis: On September 13th 2017, I was dispatched to a call for a UPS Driver being bitten by a group of gray pit bulls while he was trying to deliver a package to the home at 15514 116th ST E Puyallup 98374.

Offense Details: 6404 - Animal - Dog Bite / Animal Bite
Description of Dogs: 4 blue-nose pit bulls: Lexi - female Brindle, L.J. - male gray/white (young) Laurinaitis - male gray/white (older), Zero -female gray/tan
Dogs Status: Held For Safe Keeping (Includes Other Impounds)
Location of Dogs: Tacoma Humane Society
Dog Owner: Owens, Jason E
Resident: Burgess, Darryl - Resident at the property

Excerpts From Post-Attack Investigation Narrative

Discussions With Victim:

“Backlund was bitten several times leaving punctures and lacerations on both hands/arms and legs. There was an extensive laceration behind and just above his left knee. There was also a large laceration near his left ankle.”

“I asked Backlund why his boots and belt were found at the trailer. He stated he used the belt for defense and the boots were pulled off by the dogs.”

Discussion With Other Law Enforcement Officers:

 “…spoke with the deputies as to what they understood to have happened but weren't witnesses. They stated the 4 gray pit bulls had cornered the UPS driver up on a trailer about 75' inside the property. Two dogs were attached to Backlund when Battalion Chief (W1) Steve Goodwin made the direction to ram the driveway gate to enter the property after the Chantell, the sister of the owner wouldn't open the gate. The fire department had to pull Backlund into the vehicle without getting out of their vehicles and risking more dog bites.”

Discussions With Dog Owner / Property Resident:

“…arrived after the Sheriff Deputies. Orting Fire had already intervened and were transporting the UPS Driver, the victim of multiple dog bites (V1) Kevin Backlund to Good Samaritan Hospital.”

“I took photos of the trailer where Backlund was defending himself from the attacking dogs. I retrieved his boots and belt. The package he was delivering was just behind the trailer.”

“…resident of the property (O1) Darryl Burgess arrives. He wanted to go onto the property but the deputies stopped him until they could contact the owner. Burgess stated the owner of the dogs is (S1) Jason Owens. He then calls Owens and puts him on speaker phone. We tell him the situation of what has occurred. I told him due to the severity of the bite that we would be impounded all four dogs for the required 10 day quarantine at the Tacoma Humane Society.”

“We spoke about posting 'Beware of Dog' or 'No Trespassing' signs. He pointed out an obscure Beware of Dog bumper sticker type notice that was barely visible. I took a photo of this. Burgess stated that insurance companies don't like 'Beware of Dog' signs as that shows they know they have dangerous dogs and it is a liability.”

“came back up to talk to me again. He states there was a yellow plastic diamond sign on the driveway gate and now it is gone. He states it was there yesterday. It said 'Beware of bad ass dogs' or something to that effect. We looked for the sign but we couldn't find it….I thought it was interesting he is now telling about a sign posted when earlier he stated that a sign would show liability and their insurance company, Farmers could possibly cancel the insurance policy.”

Incident No. 1725600835.3

Jurisdiction Agency: Pierce County Sheriff Department
Report Date: 9/22/2017 12:25:13

Excerpts From Post-Attack Investigation Narrative

Discussions With Dog Owner / Property Resident:

I then went out to the dog owner's address to discuss the disposition of the dogs. While on scene I observed several things which contradicted the information the dog owner had provided.” 

“…leading me to further believe that this address is not a residence where anyone resides but is instead used for business purposes.”

“Based upon the evidence and testimony collected by Ofc. Wheeler during the initial response and the supporting facts discovered on further investigation, the four dogs belonging to Jason Owens and Darryl Burgess are declared Dangerous for the act of causing severe injury to a person without provocation, and/or participating in an attack with another animal where such act was committed. (As the UPS driver was not in the commission of a criminal act, his entry onto the property for the purposes of delivering an ordered package does not appear to meet the legal definition of "provocation.")”

“I contacted the Pierce County Humane Society and advised them that the dogs in their possession (numbers: A521307 LJ, A521305 Lexi, A521304 Zero, and A521306 Laurenitis) were not authorized for release and should be held pending Animal Control's contact with the owner to address restraint issues and serve the noted declarations. (Completion of the Dangerous Animal declarations is pending obtaining a valid residential address for the dog owner(s).)”

Incident No. 1725600835.4

Jurisdiction Agency: Pierce County Sheriff Department
Report Date: 9/22/2017 12:45:18

Excerpts From Investigation Narrative

Discussions With Dog Owner / Property Resident:

“…I explained to Burgess that based on conversations with my supervisor and Officer Wheeler I intended to declare three of his dogs Potentially Dangerous and require insurance, signage and permits for him to possess those animals, but not require kennel restraints so that they may continue to use the dogs as guard dogs to protect the property.”

“…I also advised Burgess that the fourth dog, Loranitis, seemed to more appropriately meet the definition of a Dangerous Animal, as this dog was reportedly the "pack leader" and most likely to cause serious injury to a person entering the property while the owners are not present.  Burgess agreed with this assessment...”

“Burgess wanted to know if he could have one of the dogs back to protect the property in the mean time until the bite quarantine expired and I advised I could not release any of the dogs until the quarantine expired.”

Incident No. 1725600835.5

Jurisdiction Agency: Pierce County Sheriff Department
Report Date: 9/28/2017 09:50:39

Excerpts From Investigation Narrative

Discussions With Dog Owner / Property Resident:

“…then served Burgess with Dangerous Animal declarations for his four dogs, and listed on the form that Burgess' address is 15514 116th St E, as he stated. Burgess stated he intended to appeal the declarations because he did not want to confine the animals on the property, as that would render them useless as guard dogs. I provided Burgess with the necessary appeal forms, with a deadline to appeal of 10/2/17.”

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