MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Maryville family is speaking out after they say their mail carrier ran over their family dog in the driveway earlier this month.
The postal carrier is facing aggravated animal cruelty charges, according to the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.
The report states that Maryville resident Randy Garner was taken into custody on May 19, but the incident was reported at the beginning of the month, when Autumn Putnam told deputies her Australian Shepherd, “Stormi,” had been run over by her mail carrier.
“Initially I thought she was shot in the head because there was just a hole in her head,” Putnam said.
Putnam says when they found Stormi, she was covered in blood and pieces of her skin and fur were strewn across their driveway.
“You could tell she had been dragged,” Putnam said.
Once Stormi was taken to the vet, the Putnams filed a police report, showing a sheriff’s deputy surveillance video of what happened. That led to Garner, the accused postal worker, to be interviewed.
According to BCSO, Garner told them he felt a “bump” and “panicked” before driving off without telling anyone because he said there weren’t any vehicles parked at the house; the report noted this was not true since the surveillance video showed two vehicles were parked in the driveway at the time the incident occurred.
The police report also states that Putnam was contacted by the United States Postal Service Postmaster. He told her that Garner sent him a text shortly after he allegedly hit Stormi, saying “I ran over a dog.” The Postmaster advised Putnam that he told Garner he needed to return to the Putnam home and make them aware of the incident, or to leave a note in the mailbox.
Putnam says Garner had not contacted her, and she has still not heard from him as of late May.
“It’s just really bothersome because had he had stopped and knocked on the door, my son wouldn’t have had to witness it, we wouldn’t have had to be surprised. She wouldn’t have suffered for 45 minutes out here by herself just bleeding out of her head, her mouth, her nose, everywhere,” Putnam said.
Stormi survived the incident, but suffered injuries to her nose, skull, and legs. She is now back home recovering.
Putnam said she wants an apology, or some acknowledgement from Garner.
WATE 6 On Your Side reached out to Randy Garner for comment but were unsuccessful in reaching him. We also reached out to USPS to see if Garner still works there and they confirmed that he did.
Putnam said for the time being, she stopped mail delivery to their residence.
Garner’s next hearing is May 28 in Blount County General Sessions Court.