HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - The United States Postal Service is offering up to a $50,000 reward in connection to the assault of a mail carrier in Highland Springs.
On Friday, June 19 around 3:30 p.m., Henrico Police responded to the 200 block of S. Elm Avenue for the report of an assault.
According to police, the victim, a mail carrier for USPS, was walking his assigned beat when he said a vehicle passed him on the street, made a u-turn and came up behind him and yelled.
“As the victim turned, someone in the vehicle shot at him with a paintball gun multiple times, striking him on an extremity,” police said.
Police said the vehicle then left the area.
“I was shocked,” said one homeowner. “He’s the nicest person. I’m so sorry that happened to him and I hope everything is okay with him.”
Neighbors said for years the victim has delivered their mail on a daily basis.
“If I see him I’ll wave to him,” said Victor Lantz, another neighbor. “I saw him up the street just a minute ago and waved to him.”
“He’s a sweet guy; very friendly,” added Diana Troutman. “He’ll hand it to me if I’m sitting on the porch or I’ll go out and I’ll greet him, save him a trip up the steps.”
A USPS representative arrived on the scene to take over the investigation.
A USPS official said the victim was struck several times by a suspect or suspects in a late model green colored Chevrolet Malibu with possible Virginia tags.
“At first I thought it was a hoax, because the following day I saw him out here delivering mail, but before I could get out to him he was halfway down the block,” Troutman said.
NBC12 spoke with the carrier on his route Friday afternoon who said he was doing well after the incident.
While authorities said the carrier suffered minor injuries, USPS added what occurred is a serious offense; those responsible could even face federal charges.
The agency is now offering up to $50,000 dollars for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
The crime falls under federal statute “18 U.S. Code § 111. Assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees” and if convicted, a suspect could face one to eight years in federal prison, depending on factors involved.
Anyone with information is asked to call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Hotline at (877) 876-2455.
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