Postal service suspends delivery to neighborhood after dog attack

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Stevens Court and the nearby 1000 block of North Noble Street in Greenfield won’t be back on U.S. Postal Service delivery routes until residents there install curbside mailboxes. The postal service made the decision after two dogs attacked and hospitalized a mail carrier last month.

Mitchell Kirk | Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD — The U.S. Postal Service has ceased delivery to a neighborhood where two dogs attacked a mail carrier last month until residents install curbside mailboxes.

Until then, the residents have to go to the post office to pick up their mail. Several report feeling unfairly punished because of one neighbor.

The dogs, which were scheduled to be euthanized before being sprung from an animal control shelter during a break-in, remain at large.

The two brown and white male boxers attacked the mail carrier as she was working in the 1000 block of North Noble Street in Greenfield on April 16.

Deputy Chief Chuck McMichael of the Greenfield Police Department told the Daily Reporter in an email that the dogs came from a property on Stevens Court across the street from where the attack happened.

McMichael said the carrier sustained obvious puncture injuries to both arms.

The owner of the dogs is Cherie Sirosky, who faces a charge in Hancock County Superior Court 2 of harboring a non-immunized dog, a criminal misdemeanor.

A probable cause affidavit filed by Greenfield Hancock Animal Management accuses Sirosky of harboring three non-immunized dogs — the two boxers involved in the attack and a pit bull mix that was not involved in the attack but was also at large at the time. None of the dogs were up to date on their rabies vaccinations when the incident occurred, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states that the mail carrier also sustained injuries to her legs, back, left thigh, right knee and groin. McMichael said she was transported to Hancock Regional Hospital for her injuries.

An initial hearing in Sirosky’s case is scheduled for May 26.

The two dogs involved in the attack were to be euthanized under a Greenfield ordinance regarding vicious animals. However, they were taken from Greenfield Hancock Animal Management’s shelter during a break-in sometime between late afternoon on April 26 and the morning of April 27. Amanda Dehoney, director of animal management, said the dogs remain missing.

Capt. Robert Harris, public information officer for the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, said investigators continue looking for leads in the investigation into the break-in.

Susan Wright, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service, told the Daily Reporter in an email that the safety of employees and customers is a priority.

“Due to ongoing and unresolved issues with loose dogs in the area including Stevens Court and the 1000 block of Noble Street, mail delivery to these addresses has been suspended until residents install curbside mailboxes,” Wright said. “Mail pickup is available for these customers at the Greenfield Post Office until the boxes are in place.”

Wright said the decision was made after careful consideration.

“This action reflects the seriousness of the situation and our desire to ensure a safe working environment for our employees,” she continued, adding the postal service regrets the inconvenience it may cause and that any residents with questions about mailbox placement should contact the Greenfield postmaster at 317-462-5569.

Dale and Cassie Stevenson live in the affected area, where no mailboxes are near the street, but rather on or close to homes.

“We feel horrible about what happened to the postal worker,” Cassie Stevenson said. “We wouldn’t want anyone to be injured. But it also isn’t the greatest we all have to suffer because of that.”

Dale Stevenson said if he pays to receive something via the postal service’s Priority Mail, which touts quick delivery, but he has to wait until he’s able to go to the post office to get it, then that’s shelling out cash for services not rendered.

He added that requiring residents to get their mail from the post office rather than allowing it to come straight to their homes could force them to wait longer than normal to get important shipments like medicine or notices to appear in court, which could lead to failure-to-appear charges.

“That’s stuff you can’t make people miss out on,” he said.

The Stevensons noted that the sidewalks in their neighborhood directly abut the street, creating a distance between potential mailboxes that would be difficult for a delivery worker to reach from a vehicle.

They also said other delivery services continue to operate as usual in the area.

Jim Shepherd, who lives in the neighborhood too, worries about how often he’ll be able to make it to the post office to get his mail when winter rolls back around. Due to his heart condition, his doctor advises him not to be outside for too long in cold weather.

Shepherd sympathizes with the injured mail carrier as well, but also feels like he’s being unfairly treated because of one neighbor.

“I think it’s a crime for them to punish me for what someone else did, or failed to do,” he said.

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