A United States postal worker was ambushed, robbed, and shot in his mail truck on Friday evening in a rare and brazen assault that has prompted the US Postal Service to place a $50,000 reward for the suspects, who remain at large.
The events unfolded just after 6 p.m. outside of 74 Bailey St. across from Ashmont station. The male victim told police that he was accosted by a hooded man who jumped into his USPS service truck and demanded “the draw”— an apparent reference to money. The worker was pistol-whipped and, at some point during the encounter, shot in the wrist. He was also forced to take off his uniform, according to a Boston Police report.
The victim escaped further injury when he leaped from the back of the truck and ran from the scene. The mail truck was commandeered by the suspect, who began driving toward Dorchester Avenue before abandoning it a short distance away on Clermont Street. A U-Haul rental van, believed to be the suspect’s get-away vehicle, was later found at the Sunoco gas station at Gallivan Boulevard and Washington Street.
A postal inspector later told the Boston Globe that two suspects are believed to have been involved in the crime. The US Postal Inspection Service is offering a $50,000 reward for information about the shooting, according to the Associated Press.
Congressman Stephen Lynch, who is a ranking member of the committee that oversees the postal service, said on Monday that he has spoken to the injured letter carrier, who lives locally and is the father of small children. Lynch said he is recuperating at home, but will need surgery to repair his hand and wrist. “He’s a really hard worker,” the congressman said.
Lynch said he’s concerned because the Dorchester attack was the third of its kind in recent weeks across the nation. A postal worker was shot and killed on duty in Maryland in November and another carrier was shot during a robbery on Friday in Georgia.
“Because it is a federal offense, we’ve never really seen this to any great extent,” said Lynch, who said he spoke to the Postmaster General and USPS CEO Patrick Donahoe about steps being taken to reduce the risk of other incidents, especially around the Christmas holiday.
“We’d asked the Inspector General to do an investigation— and that’s already under way,” Lynch said, citing the Maryland murder that prompted the request. “I’ve noticed now that there are often two letter carriers in the postal truck, teaming up, which I think is a good idea. I think they are working well with the unions on it, too.”
The suspect in the Bailey Street attack— who has not yet been captured or named—is described as a black male in his twenties, ‘5-feet-8’ to ‘5-feet-10’ who was wearing a black hooded jacket and black face mask. Anyone with information is asked to call District C-11 detectives at 617-343-4335. Or call in tips anonymously to 1-(800) 494-TIPS (8477) or texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).