Buffalo woman charged with assault after spitting on postal carrier to 'give him the coronavirus'

Berkeley Brean
Updated: April 17, 2020 05:13 PM
Created: April 17, 2020 04:50 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A horrible thing happened to a postal worker recently. A woman in Buffalo was arrested for spitting on the carrier and threatening to give him the coronavirus.

Friday News10NBC caught up with a carrier who's out on the road going door to door.

Rodney Tull has done this job for 27 years. His route takes him through the Town of Gates.

Now he's wearing gloves and a mask and the postal service is staggering start times, so carriers like Rodney aren't all together in one place at the same time.

"Some of the carriers are starting an hour and a half, two hours earlier when before we were all starting together," Tull said.

On Monday, the U.S. Attorney's office charged a Buffalo woman with assault for spitting on a postal carrier. The U.S. Attorney's office says the woman "threatened to cough on the carrier to give him the coronavirus" and "then spit on him."

The assault charge comes with "up to eight years in prison."

Brean: “You're not worried about your personal safety as you're out on the road as your going business to business, home to home?”

Rodney Tull, postal carrier: “I wouldn't say I'm not worried. I feel safe as long as I continue to do the safety procedures that can keep me safe and the customers safe.”

Brean: “When you saw the details in Buffalo with that person spitting, really assaulting one of your employees, what did you think?”

Marty Siminski, Rochester Post Master, USPS: “I was completely shocked. I couldn't believe it happened actually. I was shocked.”

Marty Siminski is the USPS postmaster in Rochester. He says most customers are positive and friendly. 
In fact, he says people cooped up in their homes are so anxious to talk, they've had to put out a notice telling people to keep their distance. 

Marty Siminski: “We're trying to tell them we'll talk to you through the door.”

Brean: “Other than that instance in Buffalo have you had any other assaults or threats against your employees?”

Marty Siminski, Rochester Post Master, USPS: “We have not, no. We have not, no.”

Three weeks ago, the New York Times reported at least two dozen postal workers in the country were COVID-19 positive. 

Siminski did not say if any postal workers in the Rochester region were infected but did say the delivery of mail has not been affected since the outbreak.

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