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San Diego family says kids got sick after mailman repeatedly pepper-sprayed their dog

November 1, 2023

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SAN DIEGO (CN) — Outside the Galindo family’s home in the San Diego border community of Otay Mesa is an enclosed patio area — a place where the Galindos’ two young children would play, along with their poodle mix, Pupa.

To get to the house’s mailbox, mail carriers had to pass by the gated area, where Pupa could stand by and bark, but not get through. Beginning in the summer of 2018 a U.S. Postal Service mailman named Nestor Medina began pepper-spraying Pupa when the dog began barking and approaching the gated area.

This happened numerous times between the summer of 2018 and February of 2019, and all the while, the Galindo kids would pet, cuddle with, and extensively play with the family.

During the summer of 2018 the Galindo children, who were one and three years old at the time, began experiencing bouts of severe coughing, nasal congestion, difficulty breathing and other symptoms of respiratory illness. Visits to doctors, urgent care facilities and specialists failed to find a cause.

Then in February of 2019, Alfonso Galindo, the father of the two children, came home to find Pupa in pain and what looked like spray paint marking the pavement. He checked the home surveillance system and found footage of their mailman pepper-spraying the beloved pet — and finally explaining, he believes, what caused his children’s sickness.

Galindo filed a negligence suit in April against both the USPS and the federal government. On Monday, a federal judge let the U.S. Postal Service is off the hook — but the U.S. government still must face the family’s tort claims.

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