Mail stops after postman attacked by dog owner

August 9, 2013 (CHICAGO)

The Postal Service unexpectedly ordered an end to mail delivery on one block in the Logan Square neighborhood after a postal worker was attacked by the owner of a threatening dog.

Residents and business owners in 3200 block of West North Avenue haven't had mail delivered for a week and Friday demanded the return of their service.

The Postal Service said there are a number of reasons why they stopped mail service in the area, gang violence being one of those reasons.

There are also concerns for the mail carriers, including the female mail carrier who was recently attacked.

"She was taken to the hospital," said Mark Reynolds, U.S. Postal Service. "They hurt her neck. She was treated and released and she's at home recuperating."

Last Friday, 30-year-old Laurentina Espadas was charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly beating the female postal carrier when she was forced to use pepper spray on Espadas' dog, who threatened her.

The Postal Service has stopped mail delivery on the block.

Reynolds said they decided to stop mail delivery as a result of the attack and because of gang problems in the area.

"We stopped delivery service there for the time being to monitor the situation really out of concern for the safety and security of our employees, whoever might be delivering there," he said.

The mail stoppage, which took effect last Saturday, is angering business owners on the block.

Alderman Robert Maldonado believes the mail stoppage is unnecessary and that the Post Office has gone too far in dealing with the problem by penalizing the entire community.

"The rest of the residents and business owners from the area do not deserve that decision," he said.

Bill Anderson of Anderson Morgan Funeral Homes said he now has to go to his local Post Office for mail and wastes two hours a day.

"I'm disgusted," he said. "You don't just penalize every business along the way."

Congressman Luis Gutierrez has an office in the area and a spokesman said their office is meeting with the postal office in efforts to re-establish mail service in the area and to permanently resolve the situation.

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