CBS News reporter Jeff Nguyen said the USPS informed people of the mail delivery suspension through a letter posted on homes and apartments. "Delivery service is hereby suspended to all addresses located on the 1300 block of 14th Street," said the April 7 letter. People who live in the vicinity where mail delivery is suspended were told to pick up any letters and parcels at the 7th Street USPS facility, the nearest one from the area.
"[USPS] does not enter into decisions to suspend service lightly. 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."
The letter, signed by Santa Monica Postmaster Marjorie Watson, concluded by asking people for "patience and understanding as [USPS] works to eliminate the safety issue." (Related: L.A. is so crime-ridden and dangerous, head of police union is warning tourists to stay away.)
Santa Monica resident Courtney Smith joined the many homeowners who voiced displeasure over the announcement. "My immediate reaction was just disappointment [and] frustration," she told Nguyen in an interview. "I feel a lot of compassion for the mail carriers. They shouldn't have to deal with that."
Clayton Canning, another affected Santa Monica resident, said USPS still delivers mail – albeit on a limited basis. He told CBS News that "since the suspension of daily mail has occurred, USPS still does come to our block, [but] exclusive for delivering packages. No paper mail, [no] envelopes, just packages."
Since receiving the letter at her apartment complex located at the 1300 block, Smith and other residents have not received any update on when the suspension will end. "Not doing anything is not the solution," she remarked.
"We spoke to the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD), who told us the only assault case involving a postal carrier they're aware of goes back to Jan. 9. It happened near the corner of Arizona and 14th Street, where a customer attacked the carrier with a broomstick and left him with a small cut on his arm," elaborated Nguyen. However, the SMPD added that even the victim has refused to press charges.
According to Lt. Erika Aklufi of the SMPD, there was indeed a report of a suspect assaulting a USPS staff member with a broomstick. She added that the police department knows the perpetrator, who is a resident of the area and has had domestic-related brushes with the law.
Aklufi added that the USPS letter was brought to SMPD's attention on the evening of April 9. "The USPS issued the letter and, as far as we know, did not contact our department before sending it. I tried calling the two phone numbers on the letter. One went unanswered, [while] the other had a voicemail box that is full," she said.
"If there were other incidents of USPS mail carriers being attacked, we were unable to locate additional reports. Without speaking to the postmaster, it will be difficult to know the extent of this issue. I have never heard of [USPS] suspending service for all residents in a neighborhood [before]."
An April 11 statement by the SMPD, which was updated the following day, shed more light on the perpetrator.
"As for information regarding the suspect, his most recent arrest was on April 6 for misdemeanors – vandalism and possession of drug paraphernalia. While the suspect was arrested over the weekend, he was released from police custody with a citation to return to court in May," it stated.
"He is also currently under investigation for two incidents that occurred in March, a battery and criminal threats. Once completed, those cases will be presented to either the city attorney [for misdemeanors] or the district attorney [for felonies] for filing consideration."
CaliforniaCollapse.news has more stories about worsening crime rates in Santa Monica and other cities in the Golden State.
Watch Gabor "Gabe" Zolna talking about the USPS delivery service suspension in Santa Monica below.
This video is from the zolnareport.com channel on Brighteon.com.