EVERETT — He has the calloused hands and muscular forearms of someone who works hard for his living.
Around town, he’s known as Jim the Fence Guy, having built a bunch of them over the years.
Four decades after high school, Jim Dulaney reunites each year with childhood chums to surf in Southern California.
At 58, he was chasing a soccer ball with little kids at a graduation party a couple of weeks back.
Dulaney won’t be doing those things any time soon.
The hope is he’ll someday get that chance again.
Doctors are trying to save his left foot and lower leg after an assault earlier this week off Evergreen Way in Everett. Dulaney on Thursday was scheduled to undergo his third surgery in five days.
“He is the person who tries to do the right thing for other people,” said Brandon Pasowicz, Dulaney’s godson.
In fact, he was doing a favor when he was hurt shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday. Dulaney was checking on a friend’s building when he spotted a man dumping trash in a parking lot and went to investigate.
The suspect reportedly chased after Dulaney with a metal pipe, police said.
The man then returned to his pickup and allegedly ran over Dulaney’s lower leg and smashed into another car. Dulaney reportedly was dragged about 30 feet before the suspect drove away in a Chevy Avalanche.
Mukilteo police found a burning pickup matching the description of the Avalanche later that day.
Back in Everett, detectives found personal paperwork for a possible suspect in the items left behind, police reported Thursday.
A suspect was arrested for investigation of stealing a car and vehicle prowl that same day in an unrelated incident. The Bothell man, 42, posted bail on those allegations. Everett police arrested him on Thursday for investigation of assault and hit and run injury after developing probable cause.
Dulaney suffered a compound fracture as well as broken ribs. He was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. On Sunday, he faced hours of surgery.
An orthopedic surgeon installed a titanium rod in his leg to put the bone back together. He then faced hours of vascular surgery. “The back of his leg across the calf muscle was basically cut in half,” family and friends posted on social media.
Pasowicz said Dulaney is someone who can make people laugh with gentle humor.
He remembers strangers approaching his godfather on a beach in Hawaii to get their picture taken with him just because of his fun-loving ways.
Family and friends describe Dulaney as an honest, hard-working man with a long road to recovery.
A gofundme account has been set up to help with expenses. As of Thursday, 90 contributions, many from strangers, had been made. It can be found at www.gofundme.com/Jimthefenceguy.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; email@example.com.