So, we tracked down the mail carrier who has so many people in an uproar.
Residents in the Bellaire-Puritas section of Cleveland turned to the I-Team after they say they’ve had no mail delivered due to a cat, dogs and, simply, doors left open.
“I have no dog. I have a 9-month-old kitten. He won’t give me my mail because I have a kitten,” Cathy Zimmer said.
“If we open up our doors when he comes around, he’s not delivering. I open my door, he won’t deliver,” Robert Pongallo said.
“I don’t believe he’s scared. I believe he’s making a game of it,” said Glen Dunaway.
Residents say they often don’t get mail when their front doors are open even with no dog in sight. They say the mailman has told them a dog could charge out.
Zimmer told us the mail carrier also would not hand him medication he’d ordered.
“I said, ‘I really need my medication.’ He said, ‘Well, door was open, too bad. Maybe, maybe tomorrow,’” said Zimmer.
Wednesday afternoon, the I-Team found the mail carrier rolling through the neighborhood, so we approached.
We told him that many people say they’re having trouble getting mail because of him and we wanted to find out what he had to say about it.
All he said was, “You have a good day,” and drove off.
The I-Team contacted the Postal Service, asking if a mail carrier can decide on his own not to deliver to house after house.
First, a spokesperson sent back a general statement about the safety of carriers, so we pressed him about this neighborhood.
One email said, “There are a number of addresses on this carrier route that have had mail delivery suspended because of a threat by an animal. A cat can also be a tripping hazard with potential harm to the carrier and the animal. When a carrier feels unsafe, mail service could be interrupted. The best way to keep everyone safe is to recognize and promote responsible pet ownership. Most people know the approximate time their letter carrier arrives every day and having their animal secured as the carrier approaches their property for delivery will minimize any animal/carrier interactions.”
Another email said, “More than 5,800 postal employees were attacked by dogs last year. To help eliminate dog attacks, the Postal Service asks customers to place their dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door when a letter carrier delivers mail to your home. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
“The safety of our employees is paramount. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog or if a dog is running loose, we may ask the owner to pick up their mail at the Post Office until our carrier is assured the pet has been restrained.”
Residents say their carrier is taking caution to an extreme.
As the I-Team took pictures of him, he appeared to take pictures of the I-Team.
Meanwhile, residents have a petition drive to have that carrier sent to deliver somewhere else.
“I want him off this route. I want him off this route,” Zimmer said.
Cleveland Councilman Brian Kazy tells us he’s also trying to get something worked out. Kazy says he’s talking to residents, the Postal Service and a local congresswoman to figure out what can be changed and how.