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Frustration Builds as Mail Still Withheld on Humboldt Park Block

 After a postal worker was attacked, the postal service has suspended delivery for the 3200 block of West North Avenue in Humboldt Park.
After a postal worker was attacked, the postal service has suspended delivery for the 3200 block of West North Avenue in Humboldt Park.
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HUMBOLDT PARK — Businesses and residents in the 3200 block of West North Avenue still are not getting their mail after a mail carrier was attacked there Aug. 2.

In a "pretty rare" decision, mail delivery was suspended until officials can come up with a permanent arrangement for the 35-year-old mail carrier, who was briefly hospitalized after a run-in with a loose dog and its owner.

"It's status quo," post office spokesman Mark Reynolds said. "Mail delivery is still suspended."

Reynolds said representatives of the post office are working to meet with Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) and go from there.

"It depends what comes of that," he said. "That should happen in the next week or so. We're waiting on confirmation."

Maldonado, however, said he felt that the postal service had been slow to set up a meeting — which he said has been scheduled for scheduled for Aug. 26 — and condemned the mail stoppage.

"Although it is very unfortunate what happened to the mail clerk, it was an isolated incident that did not merit the drastic action the [post office] general manager took," he said. "I am with the community. The rest of us should not pay for what one family did to this mail clerk.

"Legal consequences should be brought against the offender," he continued, "but there was no reason in my judgment to discontinue the service."

Laurentina Espadas was charged with misdemeanor battery in connection with the incident, in which her dog was maced after approaching the mail carrier while unrestrained. Espadas allegedly punched the mail carrier in response.

Meanwhile, businesses and residents still have to trek 2 miles to the post office at 2339 N. California Ave. to pick up their mail, something that frustrates Bill Andersen, former owner of the Edward Andersen Funeral Home, 3234 W. North Ave.

"I've only been here 45 years, maybe longer, and I never, ever recalled — I never had anything happen like this," said Andersen. "Whatever happened to the old 'rain or snow or sleet?'"

In addition to taking the time to drive to the post office and park, he said postal customers are met with long lines once they arrive.

"We're going to the post office and standing in a line for anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour, and in some cases two hours," he said. "We have to go to Fullerton and California and that is a parking nightmare over there."

Andersen said he narrowly avoided getting a parking ticket after long lines kept him in the post office longer than he'd expected.

Even U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez has been affected. His district office at 3210 W. North Ave. also has been without mail for almost two weeks.

In an email to DNAinfo Chicago, the congressman's spokesman said his office was working on the problem.

"The congressman's district office director is meeting with the postal supervisor to see what can be done to re-establish mail service and come to a permanent resolution," spokesman Douglas Rivlin wrote. "Obviously, regular mail service is crucial to the congressman's constituent services work, but all of the businesses and individuals in the neighborhood need their mail service, too."