Mailman 'snaps' at island driver

Police responded to a case of road rage gone postal when a mailman on Bainbridge Island decided to tell a driver exactly what he though of her driving habits.

Over the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 24, a postman screamed and cursed at a woman for talking on her cell phone while she was driving. The incident prompted the woman's husband to track down the mailman on his bicycle, leading to yet another confrontation.

The hostilities were sparked as the woman was driving on Battle Point Drive to pick up her 6-year-old daughter from a bus stop.

While en route, she passed a postal worker who was delivering mail on a narrow, tree-lined roadway.

The mailman told police that it was dark and the woman did not have her headlights on. He also said she did not honk her horn to let him know she was passing by.

The mailman said he did not see the passing car until it was right beside his delivery truck and it startled him. He also noticed that the woman was talking on her cell phone at the time.

The mailman encountered the woman again as she was returning home on Olallie Lane — still on her cell phone, according to the postal worker. He started to follow her, and the woman pulled over into a driveway to let the mailman pass.

Instead, he blocked her car in the driveway with his delivery truck and got out. The mailman gave the woman a piece of his mind, yelling and cursing at her in front of her daughter.

The woman admitted to police that she was on her cell phone at one point during her drive.

After the mailman left, the woman called her husband to tell him about the incident.

The husband was on his bicycle at the time and found the mailman on Tolo Road, and then stopped his bike directly in front of the mail truck.

The mailman slowly moved his truck forward to encourage the cyclist to move, but the husband held his ground. The mailman told police that he considered this "aggressive and threatening." The truck continued to inch forward until he bumped into the tire of the bicycle.

The bump ignited a yelling match between the two men. The mailman said he was sorry for losing his temper, but asked that the husband speak to his wife about her "bad driving."

Police contacted the mailman, and his supervisor at the Winslow Post Office, later that day.

He told police that he has observed his fair share of bad driving in his 14 years as a mailman, but he "just snapped" when he encountered the woman on her cell phone.

Police also asked why the mailman considered a bike rider threatening when he was in a two-ton truck.

"Well, I didn't know who it was," the mailman blurted at officers, according to police reports. "It could have been someone with a gun, or anything!"

The mailman concluded his interview with police by handing them a prewritten statement on both encounters.

The woman driver and her husband cyclist did not want to press charges or have any legal action taken against the mailman. Rather, they preferred that the post office handle his discipline.

They did want the police to be aware of his behavior, however, in case there were any future incidents.

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