South Bay News

Dog attacks San Jose mail carrier

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

San Jose Animal Control Services impounded a pit bull mix and a German shepherd from a San Jose home on Camden Avenue Wednesday morning after one of the dogs attacked a letter carrier. The mailman, identified as 10-year U.S. Postal Service employee Yuan Hu, suffered bites on the arm and leg and an abrasion when he fell to the ground.

There was a trail of blood on the sidewalk where Hu attempted to fend off the attack. Hu's screams for help drew neighbors from their home. They called 911 and applied pressure to the wounds to stem the bleeding while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

"I just heard screaming, like in-pain screaming, and I ran out the front door and there he was between the driveways holding his arm," Sal Nicoletta said.

Nicoletta said he and his wife knew instantly Hu was in trouble.

"His clothes were ripped, the blood was coming out profusely," Dinah Nicoletta said.

The attack happened about 10:45 a.m. as Hu delivered mail to a house at 5199 Camden Avenue. The dogs appeared to have broken through a fence at a house two doors away at 5183 Camden Avenue.

Hu declined to talk to reporters, but he told his supervisor that the dogs caught him by surprise. While carriers have pepper spray and are trained to use their mail satchels to ward off dog attacks, Hu indicated the attack came so quickly that he was unable to take any defensive measures.

"Yuan has several puncture marks on each of his forearms, his left and right," postal supervisor Tom Messer said. "Then on his left foot, as well as an abrasion where he fell after the dog clamped onto his left foot. He fell to the ground."

Hu was taken to O'Connor Hospital in San Jose where he was treated and released.

Gus Ruiz, spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service in San Jose, said that dog bites occur about once a week. There were 3,000 dog attacks on letter carriers nationally last year.

The dog's owner will be expected to cover the cost of emergency medical care.

"We're talking about medical costs, we're talking about down time and we're talking about the trauma to this carrier," Ruiz said.

A resident at the home where the dogs live came to the door but denied being the owner of the dogs. An animal control officer at the scene said there had been no witnesses to the attack.

Ruiz was told by animal control officers that problems in the past had been reported about the dogs, but this was the first time involving a mailman.

This was the second time that letter carrier Hu had suffered dog bites on the job. The previous incident was about a year ago.

It has not been decided if the dog owner will be cited.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
san jose, animal, USPS, dog attack, south bay news, david louie
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