A U.S. Postal Service carrier was reportedly groped by a Springfield man while delivering mail Tuesday evening.
The victim, a 21-year-old woman, told Springfield police she was delivering mail in the area of Seever, West Jefferson and Mulberry streets around 4 p.m. when the attack happened.
She told officers she was approached by a middle-aged man while on her route. She said he was “giving her compliments” and followed her for a short time while she made deliveries. After he left, the postal carrier said she made her way back to her mail truck on Seever Street and was standing next to it when the man came around the other side of the truck, grabbed her around the waist and pinned her against the vehicle, according to the police report.
The woman said she tried to push the man away, but he began moving his hands up and down her body. The attack stopped after the man fled on foot when he was apparently scared off by some juveniles riding toward them on their bikes, the report said.
Doug Lafferty, who lives on Seever Street, said he knows the female carrier, who has delivered mail on his street for some time. He said he was shocked to learn about what happened.
“I think that’s awful,” Lafferty said. “There’s a lot of kids in the neighborhood here also, and if he’s going to do that to the mail lady, how about the kids here in the neighborhood? It’s just a shame.”
Employees at the Springfield post office were unable to confirm if the carrier has been back to work since the incident.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, attacking a mail carrier is a federal crime prosecuted under the same law as assaulting an FBI agent. Being convicted of attacking a federal employee while they’re carrying out their duties can be punished by up to 20 years in prison, depending on the crime.
The case is still under investigation. Anyone with information should call Springfield police at (937) 324-7716.