Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Letter carrier maces co-workers, triggers hazmat response

Bear pepper spray

Bear pepper spray

Anyone who feels a pet of theirs was ever unfairly maced by a mail carrier will be pleased to hear that on October 6, 2013, a Portland, Oregon, postman managed to pepper spray his co-workers — by accident of course.

The incident occurred around 10 a.m. and when the smoke cleared, three people had been maced. It seems that once the mace was discharged, the workers evacuated the building, and someone called 911 about a chemical contamination. Fire responders arrived in full bio-hazard gear with masks and oxygen, deployed their high-tech contaminant sensors and proceeded into the building, ready to tackle anything from radioactivity to chemical weapons.

Soon, however, they determined that the noxious fumes were from pepper spray.

The postal worker in question carries bear mace, a heavy-duty pepper spray, to fend off aggressive animals while delivering mail, and does not know how the spray accidentally discharged. A Portland Fire Bureau spokesperson, however, confirmed that it’s easy to  ”hit the button accidentally.”

Three unidentified postal employees were taken to the hospital to have their eyes flushed, and the building remained closed until all of the pepper spray had cleared out of the ventilation system.

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