COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Police in Columbus say a postal worker who pepper-sprayed a dog in an attempt to prevent an attack was taken to the emergency room after he was hit repeatedly by the dog’s owner.
It happened shortly before 10 a.m. Saturday when the 55-year-old postal worker was delivering mail to a neighborhood in the northeast part of the city.
The postal worker told police that two large dogs approached him on Camelot Lane, so he clipped a container of pepper spray onto his mail pouch. That, police say, prompted 54-year-old Anthony Wayne Stevens to calls for the dogs.
One of the dogs charged the postal worker, leading him to spray the animal one time with the pepper spray. Neighbors say Stevens then approached the postal worker and a heated argument ensued.
Stevens then reportedly struck the worker in the face with a leather leash and continued to hit him until he fell to the ground, 24-Hour News 8’s news partners at The Republic report.
The postal worker was taken to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries.
Stevens was arrested on a preliminary charge of battery, as a Level 6 felony, and taken to the Bartholomew County Jail where he later bonded out. If convicted, he faces six months to two years in prison and fined up to $10,000 under state sentencing guidelines.
It’s unknown at this time if state charges will be filed, but officials say it’s against federal law to assault a postal worker. According to federal law, if the U.S. government files charges and considers the leather leash a dangerous weapon, Stevens could receive a maximum 20-year sentence, a fine, or both.