Parma Heights mail carrier recovering after being attacked by 72-pound dog

Posted at 2:11 PM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 22:19:06-04

A Parma mail carrier is recovering from a dog attack that occurred on Sept. 8, according to U.S. Postal Service spokesperson David G. Van Allen.

The mail carrier Robert Adams had just finished a delivery on York Road and was walking towards another house when the resident opened the door and her Shar Pei mix lunged past her, Allen said.

Adams was able to pull out pepper spray and use it on the dog, but he tripped and fell over when he was backing up.  The dog then jumped on top of the man and bit him on the arms, hands, neck and face, Allen said.

According to the police report, the mail carrier suffered injuries to his arms, hand, ankle, and chin. Some of those injuries were puncture wounds. 

The report states there are no previous incidents involving the 72-pound animal, but the carrier "was attacked without provocation while not on the owner's property," and the animal may need to be classified as a dangerous dog.

The resident's husband, William Rivera, was cited for having a dog-at-large and is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 14.

According to the USPS, 170 mail carriers in Greater Cleveland have been attacked by dogs since Oct. 1, 2016.

Nationally the number of dog attacks peaked at 6,755, nearly 200 higher than the year before, according to the USPS.

Meanwhile, Adams told News 5 he feels lucky he's still alive after the 10 minute attack.

Adams said northeast Ohio dog owners must do a better job in keeping their animals restrained during postal delievry hours.

"Cause he was really trying to kill me, I know this dog was trying to go for the kill," said Adams.

"I was spraying pepper spray like crazy in this dog's eyes, but he never stopped.  He was trying to go after my neck, my face, and I was pushing him off.  I was kicking him, punching him."

"A dog that is that big and powerful, why would you want to have your door open, anything can happen, anything."