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USPS Suspends Service on One Block After Carrier Attacked with Broomstick
 

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By Jorge Casuso

April 11, 2022 -- A mail carrier attacked with a broomstick by a Santa Monica resident nearly three months ago is making national headlines after the U.S. Postal Service suspended mail delivery on the block.

More than a dozen news outlets -- including a national magazine and a major Spanish-language television network -- reported Monday that mail carriers were being assaulted by an assailant who remains at large.

"Multiple carriers have been subjected to assaults and threats of assault from an individual who has not been located or apprehended," read a letter from the USPS posted in the neighborhood, according to news reports.

In a press statement issued Monday afternoon, the Santa Monica Police Department said that one attack on a mail carrier had been reported on January 19 on the 1300 block of 14th Street.

The reported assault with a broomstick "was committed by a subject who lived in the area and is known to our officers and also to the mail carrier he attacked," said Sgt. Erika Aklufi.

About a month after the attack, the victim -- who sustained a minor injury to his arm that did not require medical attention -- declined to prosecute, Aklufi said.

"If there were other incidents of USPS mail carriers being attacked, we were unable to locate additional reports," she said.

A USPS spokesperson told Newsweek that at least two other incidents have taken place, leading to mail services being suspended.

Residents of the block have reportedly been told to pick up mail at the local post office. USPS officials did not say when service will resume.

"This is an unusual but necessary step to protect our employees," the USPS spokesperson said in a statement to Newsweek.

In their statement Monday, the Police Department said the USPS "issued the letter and as far as we know did not contact our department before sending it.

"The SMPD tried calling the two phone numbers on the letter -- one went unanswered, and the other had a voicemail box that is full," the statement said.

According to Aklufi, the officers who took the report contacted the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) "to provide information for the incident should they wish to follow up.

"We do not know if the USPIS did so," she said. "Without speaking to the postmaster, it will be difficult to know the extent of this issue."

The Police Department, Aklufi said, "has never heard of the Postal Service suspending service for all residents in a neighborhood."

Monday's headlines come less than a week after Police officials disputed a widely covered report by the website Safewise that found Santa Monica is one of the least safe cities in California ("Police Weigh in on Report Listing Santa Monica Among Least Safe California Cities," April 5, 2022).

The headline in Los Angeles Magazine on Monday read, "Mail Service in Santa Monica Halted After String of Attacks."


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