BILLINGS — On Saturday, a dog was pepper-sprayed by a United States Postal Office mail carrier, outraging residents. On Thursday, neighbors discovered surveillance video of the event, which they describe as "just wrong".
The Guzman family was shocked Saturday morning when their dog, Sunka, ran inside in a panic. The mother, Katie, said she went outside to confront the mail carrier, suspecting he harmed her dog.
He admitted to it, allegedly saying he is afraid of dogs. But the new video shows he went out of his way to cross the street and spray the dog at a house he wasn't delivering mail to.
Video appears to show a Billings mail carrier walk across a street to spray an irritant at a dog in a fenced-in yard.
Debbie Boyd lives across from the Guzmans. She and her husband were shocked when they found the video in their stored security tape on Thursday.
"We watched the video and saw that he had come to our house and then went directly across the street," Boyd said on Friday. "We thought, ‘Well that’s not right. He should be going next door to Brenda and Mike’s,’ and we were kind of floored about that. That was just wrong. It was just wrong."
After discovering the video, the Boyds informed the Guzmans they had it on tape. Katie recorded the video and posted it to social media, which garnered a large response from the public.
Boyd said the mail carrier delivered their mail in a hurry—so much so that he broke the handle on their mailbox—before crossing the street to spray the dog.
"There was no reason to go. You can see the dog's paws up on the fence like they wanted to be pet or something," Boyd said. "According to our video, it looks like he’s got the spray in his hand and just walks over and sprays them."
And according to Boyd, Sunka is a friendly dog who just wanted love.
"We couldn’t imagine that the dog was being aggressive because she’s a puppy. She’s playful," Boyd said. “We’ve petted the dog. She’s always, you know, jumping up on the fence, wanting us to pet her."
The Boyds also have a dog and said they can't imagine what happened to Sunka happening to their pet.
“You can see the dog trying to bury its head in the snow a couple times trying to wash his eyes and stuff," Boyd said. "So that was upsetting to see because we wouldn’t want that happening to our dog.”
Guzman called the non-emergency line following the incident and said animal control is investigating. The U.S. Postal Service told MTN News earlier this week that the agency is investigating the matter.
MTN also tried to contact the mail carrier through a message on social media, but he has not responded.
“We’re just glad that they got a chance to see the video," Boyd said. "And to us, that was unjustified."
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