Danielle Wallace, Fox News
The United States Postal Service has suspended services in one neighborhood in Santa Monica, California, because of repeated attacks on mail carriers since January.
The first incident happened on Jan. 19 when a resident living near the intersection of 14th Street and Arizona Avenue allegedly swung a broomstick at one carrier delivering mail in the early evening hours, CBS News reported. The carrier reportedly was not injured in the attack.
Months later, residents recently received notices from the USPS informing them that delivery service has been hereby suspended to all addresses located in the 1300 block of 14th Street.
The notice explained that “multiple carriers have been subjected to assaults and threats of assault from an individual who has not been located or apprehended.”
Still, only one assault has been officially reported, and the victim in that incident declined to have the case prosecuted, CBS News reported. It’s not clear when the suspension is set to end. Despite the notice, USPS still has been delivering packages in the neighborhood, but paper mail delivery has halted, and residents have been instructed to pick up their mail in person at their post office on 7th Street.
“My immediate reaction was just disappointment,” Courtney Smith, who lives in the area, told CBS.
“I feel a lot of compassion for the mail carriers,” she added. “Not doing anything is not the solution.”
USPS spokeswoman Natashi Garvins told Fox News Digital there have been three separate incidents in the 1300 block of 14th street in Santa Monica involving three separate letter carriers over the last several months, and, as a result, service has temporarily been suspended to residents in the area.
“This is an unusual, but necessary step to protect our employees,” she said, declining to go into detail about the specific incidents.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the USPS, said it “is aware of the recent reports of suspicious activity towards Postal Carriers in Santa Monica, California,” according to a statement provided to Fox News Digital. “Postal Inspectors are currently investigating the incidents and are unable to comment further at this time. Postal Inspectors encourage anyone who observes suspicious activity involving US Mail to report it to local police and to Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455.”
A spokeswoman for the Santa Monica Police Department told Fox News Digital that her department first became aware of the USPS notice about the suspension of service on Saturday and since then, calls placed to the phone numbers listed on the letter either went unanswered or the voicemail box was full.
Santa Monica police have only located one report about an assault with a deadly weapon, a broomstick, on a mail carrier in the 1300 block of 14th Street on Jan. 19, 2022. The alleged attacker “lived in the area and is known to our officers and also to the mail carrier he attacked,” the spokeswoman said via email.
“The officers who took the report contacted the United States Postal Inspection Service on the day of the incident to provide information for the incident should they wish to follow up,” Santa Monica police Lt. Erika Aklifi told Fox News Digital. “We do not know if the USPIS did so.”
She said Santa Monica detectives remained in contact with the victim, who sustained a minor injury to his arm, did not require medical attention and declined prosecution a month later.
“If there were other incidents of USPS mail carriers being attacked, we were unable to locate additional reports,” Aklifi added. “Without speaking to the postmaster, it will be difficult to know the extent of this issue. I have never heard of the Postal Service suspending service for all residents in a neighborhood, and can only refer you to them for answers about their course of action.”