Exactly one week ago, a postal worker from the Lowry Avenue North Post Office was tending to his regular route in north Minneapolis. He was stopping near North 8th and Upton avenues, minding his own business, when he got shot by a BB gun. Luckily, KSTP reported, he wasn’t seriously hurt, but that wasn’t the end.
On Monday, it happened again to another Lowry Avenue letter carrier, this time at 20th and James Avenue North. A BB gun was shot off nearby, but this time, didn’t hit its target. North Minneapolis Crime Watch’s Facebook account reported on the incident that afternoon.
“C’mon, the mail lady?!? Really,” a Facebook user commented.
“Some young’n most likely did that dumb shit,” another responded.
Minneapolis police are currently investigating. The Lowry Hill office declined to comment on what was going on, but Postal Inspector Eric Manuel shared a bit more information.
The first BB gun incident appearerd to be, according to Manuel, a one-off accident, and it did happen to involve some young'ns. A bunch of teens were reportedly trying to use a stop sign for target practice and accidentally hit the nearby letter carrier. Monday's shot is a little less clear cut.
"It's unclear at this time if the two incidents are related," Manuel says. "There's certainly nothing to show that it was a coordinated or targeted event."
But there’s no denying that letter carriers bear more than their fair share of punishment just for doing their jobs. All together, the postal service ranked near the top for the most dangerous places to work between 2015 and 2017. It comes in at No. 4 in the nation for the most severe injuries to its workforce per every 100,000 employees, just behind Waste Management, JBS/Pilgrim’s Pride, and Tyson Foods.
As if getting pelted with BBs wasn’t enough, no fewer than 37 got bitten by dogs in Minneapolis alone last year. In a particularly egregious example, a worker in Hoyt Lakes was critically injured after a man with a grudge against the postal service tried to ram her to death with his truck. That’s to say nothing of the far more common, insidious dangers of heat exhaustion and icy streets.
So, remember – give your letter carrier a break. And if you happen to see anyone messing with her, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Hotline at 877-876-2455.