Crime is so out of control in California that the U.S. Postal Service refused to deliver mail in one community for nearly week.
It was just too dangerous for their letter carriers.
Santa Monica Postmaster Marjorie Watson told residents in one neighborhood – via a letter, of course – that they would have to get their mail the old-fashioned way: by picking it up at the local post office.
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Watson’s letter says a deranged individual had assaulted multiple postal workers.
“This is unfortunate, but please be advised that the Postal Service does not enter into decisions to suspend service lightly,” she wrote, according to local media outlets. “Multiple carriers have been subjected to assaults and threats of assault from an individual who has not been located or apprehended. The safety of our employees and of the mail they deliver to you is our highest concern. Until we can ensure the safety of both, delivery services will remain suspended.”
Assaulting a postal worker is a federal crime.
But criminals in California have become increasingly brazen after a series of recent decisions across the state to stop prosecuting certain crimes, and in some cases to even let convicts out of prison.
Last year, for example, the state released 76,000 criminals early – including violent felons and 20,000 inmates who had been serving life sentences, KTLA reported at the time.
And across the state, evening news has routinely featured footage of criminals taking what they want from stores as hapless workers – including security – look on.
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In this case, the incidents in Santa Monica seem to stem from a single person – someone everyone knows to be violent, from the residents to the police.
Yet he’s out on the streets.
“He walks around with a golf club over his back,” resident Jim Price told CBS Los Angeles on Monday. “It’s a wood and it’s very threatening to people.”
The individual in question has also reportedly harassed workers at local businesses, with restaurant manager Cori Newman telling The New York Times she’s been accosted by the same person.
“I lived in Santa Monica a long time ago as a child and never felt it was dangerous ever before,” said said, but added that she now keeps a baseball bat and pepper spray behind the bar.
“If I have to use it,’’ she said, “I have to use it.”
The Santa Monica Police Department said it investigated a case of assault with a deadly weapon on a letter carrier in January.
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The weapon in the incident was a broomstick.
“The victim sustained a minor injury to his arm and did not require medical attention,” the department said in a news release.
The letter carrier ultimately declined to press charges, and the department said it’s the only incident involving a postal worker that it’s been made aware of.
However, USPS told residents that there have been several attacks – all by the same person.
Police say the subject has since been arrested in other cases including misdemeanor vandalism and possession of drug paraphernalia, and is currently under investigation for incidents involving alleged battery and battery and criminal threats.
“Once completed, those cases will be presented to either the City Attorney (misdemeanor) or District Attorney (felony) for filing consideration,” the agency said.
For now, the mail has resumed.
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But USPS said it could cut it off again if its workers come under threat.
“Conditions on the route will be reviewed continuously to ensure the safety of our employees. Our continuous, reliable service is a hallmark of USPS and we appreciate the understanding and support we’ve received from the Santa Monica community while we navigate this issue,” USPS said in a statement cited by Fox 11.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert.