"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night" deters mail carriers, according to the United States Postal Service's unofficial motto—but in Santa Monica, a person with an apparent vendetta against carriers has done what the weather couldn't. The USPS has halted services in one block of a Santa Monica neighborhood after a series of attacks on letter carriers, Fox 11 reports. "The Postal Service does not enter into decisions to suspend service lightly," a notice to residents in the 1300 block of 14th Street stated, but "multiple carriers have been subjected to assaults and threats of assault from an individual who has not been located or apprehended."
The Santa Monica Police Department's Public Information Officer says the suspect is well-known to police after multiple incidents, most of them domestic, CBS reports. But only one letter carrier incident has been officially reported and the victim declined to press charges, police say. On Jan. 19, a report was filed over an incident in which a resident allegedly swung a broomstick at a letter carrier. Residents say package deliveries have continued, but they now have to pick up regular mail at a USPS office.
Residents haven't been told when the suspension could end. "My immediate my reaction was just disappointment ... frustration, resident Courtney Smith tells CBS. "I feel a lot of compassion for the mail carriers," she says. "They shouldn't have to deal with that." The USPS has its own police force, but Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued an order in August 2020 directing the force "to end all mail-protection and other law-enforcement activity away from the confines of postal real estate," according to a lawsuit filed by the postal officers' union. (Read more USPS stories.)