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Postal worker finishes route after attack in Oklahoma City

Mail carrier Sheryl Garner was attacked and cut on her left shoulder Monday by a man in north Oklahoma City, but that didn’t keep her from her job, Oklahoma City police said.
by Jonathan Sutton Modified: August 17, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: August 17, 2014
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Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor wounds from a knife attack deterred an Oklahoma City postal worker from delivering the mail last week.

Mail carrier Sheryl Garner was attacked and cut on her left shoulder Monday by a man in north Oklahoma City, but that didn’t keep her from her job, Oklahoma City police said.

Garner declined medical treatment and went on to finish her daily route.

Police arrested Bennie Edwards, 54, in connection with the attack. Edwards was charged Wednesday with assault with a dangerous weapon. He remained in Oklahoma County jail as of Friday.

U.S. Postal Inspector Leslie McClain said attacks like the one on Garner are rather rare, but they do happen. The USPS delivered to more than 152 million locations in 2013, and there were 67 reported robberies and 157 assaults.

‘Safety first’

Despite the old saying, which actually is not an official motto, the postal service does not encourage its carriers to deliver the mail in the face of dangerous circumstances or injury.

“We tell all our employees to worry about their safety first,” McClain said.

McClain said postal workers attend safety talks and are instructed on what to do if they feel they are ever in danger. Carriers are told not to carry electronic devices or cash and shouldn’t wear expensive jewelry.

McClain said they tell carriers not to lower their guard just because they’re on a familiar route, and if they do feel threatened, they should call police immediately.

In the case of an attack or robbery, McClain said it’s up to the carrier whether to continue with delivering the mail.

“That’s something they need to discuss with their supervisor and law enforcement,” McClain said. “It’s really on a case by case basis.”

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by Jonathan Sutton
Breaking News Reporter
Jonathan Sutton is a reporter covering breaking news and crime for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. He grew up in Ada and has a degree in journalism from Oklahoma State University. He was the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily O'Collegian, OSU's student...
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