Mail Carrier Recounts Terrifying Moments of Dog Attack in Richfield

July 21, 2018 06:58 PM

A U.S. Postal Service worker is recovering after he was attacked by a dog last month.

Seth Gustafson showed 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS where the dog grabbed onto his arm.


RELATED: Minneapolis Mail Carrier Attacked by Dog

“His center teeth dragged across here,” he said.

Although his wounds are healing, there will always be scars.

“There are many days where I feel it, I feel the bite and I feel it resonating with me,” he said. “The physical effects were the initial trauma but the psychological effects are what really have debilitated me.”

USPS confirmed the attack happened last month in Richfield. Gustafson was delivering mail on a route he wasn't familiar with. As he went to place mail in the slot, he said a dog jumped out of the window, through a broken screen.

Gustafson told us he didn't have time to react.

“He grabbed my arm pretty solid and I was just so adrenaline rushed I just ripped my arm from his mouth,” he said. “The next minute, I have my bag in front of me like ‘hey, hey, hey, hey’ and I think very quickly the owner came out and he did grab [the dog] before he could get another lunge at me.”

He said carriers are trained to use their bag, pepper spray and a horn to prevent an attack but in this case, there wasn't time.

“I didn't even know how to comprehend the situation,” said Gustafson.

According to USPS, 6,244 employees were attacked by dogs nationwide in 2017. Minneapolis is ranked 14th on the list of cities where attacks happen most frequently.

There were 27 attacks in the city in 2017, a drop from 43 dog attacks in 2016, according to USPS,

“If you have a pet, make sure your windows are secure,” Gustafson said. “Even that little bit of screen might have prevented him from jumping through.”

He’s been delivering mail for nearly a year and said he understands the risks of the job.

“Imagining getting attacked by a dog is never the reality of it,” he said. “It is a serious job, it's going to come with hardships, it's going to come with dangers, not just animal dangers but environmental dangers."


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Callan Gray

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