Amazon driver found dead may have been killed by dogs, police say

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An Amazon delivery driver was found dead in Missouri after a suspected dog attack Monday night.

A delivery worker was apparently attacked and killed while dropping off packages at a home in Excelsior Springs, Mo., outside Kansas City. Authorities were investigating whether two dogs, who lived in the home and whose owners were out of town, were to blame.

Deputies found the man’s body outside the home with what appeared to be bite marks “all over his body,” Ray County Sheriff Scott Chalders said.

Childers said he shot and killed two dogs, a German shepherd and a mastiff, after they became aggressive.

Childers said the delivery driver was about 50 years old. Authorities are waiting to identify the man until the medical examiner determines the cause of death and notifies the man’s family.

“We are very sad [Monday’s] The tragic incident involving a member of our Amazon family will support the team and the driver’s loved ones,” Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Levandowski said.

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Dog attacks are usually reported by delivery workers, but usually result in injury rather than death.

According to the US Postal Service, more than 5,400 postal workers were attacked by dogs in 2021. Kansas City, Mo., had the third-highest number of attacks on letter carriers last year, with 48 attacks.

An insurer in Colorado found that dog bites are the third most common injury among Amazon delivery contractors, according to a study of 2022 injury data by the Center for Strategic Organizing, a coalition of labor unions.

Bites sent an Ohio driver to the hospital in August, prompted a driver this summer to post a video on TikTok of the company’s response to his bite, and once caused Amazon to suspend deliveries to a Florida neighborhood where an employee was attacked. gives news.

The Postal Service recommends that dogs be inside the home, behind a fence or on a leash when the mail carrier arrives, and advises residents to watch packages or mail to see when they are delivered.

It’s normal for dogs to be anxious about strangers in their space, and even dogs with no history of aggressive behavior can become playful and protective or cause accidents, so all dog owners should take steps to protect their mail carriers, said David Rosengard, manager. Attorney at the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

“All of us who own dogs need to set them up for success,” she said.

Owners should have a place out of their dog’s reach for package deliveries, whether it’s a front porch, lock box, or other drop-off area, and keep dogs inside when the delivery arrives. If necessary, they should get a post office box.

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It was Monday afternoon or early evening when an employee in Missouri dropped off a package that authorities later found at the front door. Police have yet to find any neighbors who saw or heard anything unusual, Childers said.

The house had a gate and a fence with “Beware of Dog” signs. There was also a doggy gate that allowed dogs to freely enter the fenced yard, the sheriff said. Neighbors’ houses sit on both sides of the street and on the other side.

Several neighbors saw the Amazon van sitting in front of the house for two hours and informed the police at around 19:00.

When deputies arrived about half an hour later, they found the driver’s body lying in the grass in the middle of the yard, Childers said.

“It’s tragic everywhere,” Childers, who spoke with the man’s family, told The Washington Post. “The loss of life is definitely the number one thing. It’s horrible to see. … It’s heartbreaking.”

Deputies found the dogs behind a fence that was the gate of the home. The dogs acted aggressively, with the mastiff appearing ready to attack the deputy, Childers said; the deputy shot the dog and both dogs ran into the house.

When the medical examiner and detectives arrived to investigate, Childers said, he entered the home and found the dogs, which again responded aggressively and bared their teeth. He estimated the mastiff to be around 80 kilos and the German shepherd to be around 50 kilos.

Childers decided to euthanize the dogs, citing the importance of protecting law enforcement and medical personnel entering and exiting the home, the potential risk of the dogs escaping the home, and the difficulty of locking them in a room.

“I had to make a quick decision because people were coming on stage so quickly,” Childers said. “But in the nature of the case I can tell you that the dogs would have gone down anyway. It was inevitable.”

After a dog bites someone, a court usually determines through a legal process whether the dog should be considered dangerous. Attorney Rosengard said a judge could order the owner to take steps such as muzzleing or imprisoning the dog, or order the dog to be euthanized.

In the case of a dog killing a person, a court may “very well” conclude that the dog should be put down.

Encounters between dogs and police are so common that the Department of Justice regularly publishes guidelines for law enforcement agencies.

Rosengard said it’s not uncommon for dogs to be shot by law enforcement officers, and courts generally allow it if the use of force is deemed reasonable.

“Their question is none of these dogs are that much [kill the man]…the question is, would a reasonable officer in that yard at that moment believe that these dogs were a threat?” he said. deadly force.”

While dog bites are fairly common, especially among postal workers, police officers and others who approach homes, killing is unusual, he said.

Relatively few states require dog training for police; Meanwhile, social media coverage of deadly police-dog encounters has fueled public interest, with some dog owners calling for increased training in recent years, according to a 2019 Justice Department report.

The sheriff said he was an animal lover and knew people would question his choice.

“There are things in this business that we don’t always like, but it’s part of what we have to do,” he said. “You try to make all the right decisions.”

Childers said his office has spoken with the homeowners. No criminal charges have been filed against them, although they could face charges if authorities determine that any of their dogs attacked the man.

“There’s a lot of research to be done, and I think this case is really going to open up a lot of questions,” Childers said. “Obviously, homeowners have a right to own animals that can protect themselves and their property… [but] this was just a man who lost his life trying to do his job.”

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