The mail carrier used pepper spray on a dog she deemed threatening. The dog's owner then attacked the carrier, police said. Rob Elgas reports.
Snow, sleet and rain may not stop the mail in Chicago, but apparently crime does.
The United States Postal Service this week suspended service to the 3200 block of West North Avenue, which includes Rep. Luis Gutierrez's office, after a female carrier was attacked.
"I'm sure it's an inconvenience for some people. However, the main thing here is that we're concerned with safety and well-being of our employees," explained USPS spokesman Mark Reynolds. "The delivery back home to their families is the most important.
The incident in question happened on Aug. 2 when the 35-year-old mail carrier used her USPS-issued spray on a dog owned by Laurentina Espadas, police said. Espadas then attacked the carrier.
Espadas, 32, of the 3200 block of North Avenue, was charged with misdemeanor battery, police spokesman John Mirabelli confirmed. The mail carrier complained of head and back pain and was taken to Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center.
Now it's business owners in the area who are upset, saying they shouldn't be punished for the bad behavior of some residents.
"We didn't get mail for a whole week, which is not fair," said store owner Danny Sullivan. "If you want to punish somebody, punish who did the crime, not everybody."
Mail officials did not have an answer on Friday as to when service on the block would resume. In the meantime, those wanting their mail should make a trip to the post office at North California and West Fullerton avenues.