Mailman beaten on Gresham route

May 11, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Kenny Lewis, an Iraq war veteran who has been a mail carrier for 20 years, was brutally beaten on the afternoon of May 1 outside a building in the 1400-block of West 80th Street by two men who kicked and punched him repeatedly. He spent two days in the hospital recovering from facial injuries and could still lose the use of one eye.

"As he approached the alley, two guys jumped out from behind and struck him in the head with a hard object," said Wanda Lewis, wife.

Community activist Andrew Holmes is putting out flyers in the neighborhood, hoping to get justice for Lewis. Holmes believes the alleged suspects targeted the mailman and what he was carrying.

"Usually postal employees on May 1st maybe carrying social security checks , disability checks that they made be delivering to individuals and those checks, they may have been trying to take those checks from that postal employee to go to some store where they can alter their ID and get these checks cashed," said Holmes.

The post office says these types of incidents are not rare.

"We want people to be aware," said Mark Reynolds, U.S. Postal Service. "We have police patrols out doing wellness checks on the carriers. We need to make sure everything is OK and carriers know what they face, and they need to be aware."

Postal workers are rallying with Lewis and his wife, who is also a postal worker, to bring the incident to light and find those responsible.

"I don't think this was an isolated incident," said Holmes. "I think this may be happening not only to postal employees but to citizens of Chicago, and I do believe that this may or may not have been caught on surveillance tape but someone's seen this incident and someone should come forward."

Lewis has been working the mail route on which he was beaten for the past 15 years.

An $1,000 award is being offering for information in the case.

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