Postal worker says dog attack was 'horrendous'

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WICHITA, Kan. "It was fight, fight, fight and all of a sudden everybody was there, and it was over." That's how Postal Carrier

Craig De Lashmit describes what happened to him last Friday while he was delivering mail on Bellaire Street in Southeast Wichita as horrendous.

"I don't know how long it was, but it felt like for ever. It felt like forever," said De Lashmit.

De Lashmit just can't seem to wash away what happened to him. Even his shirt, after one wash, is still stained with his blood.

He was delivering mail to a home when he turned around and saw a pit bull.

"It gave me no warning, no barking no growling," said De Lashmit.

He's trained to use his postal bag as a defense, but in this case it was no help.

"It literally just jumped up at me and lunged at me and grabbed my arm. Knocked me backward onto my butt," said De Lashmit.

He says the dog backed off for a moment before it came back and grabbed his leg.

"That's when I knew it wasn't just going to be a bite. I knew it was an actual attack," said De Lashmit.

He kicked at the dog and managed to get to his feet only to have the dog attack again.

"It was pulling me forward and when it let go, there was just a flow of blood going down my arm," said De Lashmit. "I'm yelling help, help, help, help, just at the top of my voice throughout this entire thing."

That's when the dog's owner came running outside to get the dog under control.

The owner and another man took their t-shirts and wrapped De Lashmit's arms until help could arrive.

De Lashmit had to get 26 stitches on his arms and legs.

Wichita Animal Control will hold the dog in quarantine for 10 days.

The dog's owner told me he's cooperating with police and will do whatever the courts require.

He said he trained his dog to protect his family, and believes his dog was trying to do that.

He says he will not bring his dog back to this neighborhood because he does not want anyone else to get hurt.

Those who live in the neighborhood where the attack happened have to temporarily pick up their mail from the post office.

Homeowners received a letter on Saturday, the day after the attack, that said because of safety issues the post office will install a centralized mailbox.

Until that happens people who live in the 5900 block of Bellaire will have to pick up their mail.

This is just the latest dog attack on a postal worker, one of the reasons Wichita's Post Master says the Air Capital is in the top 25 cities for dogs biting Mail Carriers.

"It does appear to be a problem, although the numbers have dropped here in the last couple years, but one dog bite is too many," said Wichita Post Master Ryon Knopik.

The Post Office strongly encourages dog owners to keep the animals secure and away from mailboxes or other areas where postal workers could walk.