Postal inspectors Wednesday arrested a Monrovia woman on federal charges of assaulting a mail carrier who allegedly was subjected to racial epithets and then pepper-sprayed in the face.
Ruby Guerrero Valenzuela, 64, allegedly carried out the road rage- related assault on the U.S. Postal Service employee on April 20 in Pasadena, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Valenzuela was expected to make her initial appearance late Wednesday before a federal judge in Los Angeles.
According to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Valenzuela apparently believed that the mail carrier, whose name was withheld, had cut her off at an intersection in Pasadena.
She then shouted obscenities and followed the carrier to her next stop, where Valenzuela ran up to the victim, who had gotten out of her vehicle and walked to the entrance of a building on Lake Avenue, prosecutors allege.
According to witnesses, Valenzuela screamed additional obscenities and racial epithets at the victim before spraying the mail carrier in the face with pepper spray, which caused her to suffer severe pain and blurred vision, federal prosecutors said.
“The evidence in this case indicates that a postal carrier carrying out her duties was the victim of an unwarranted attack,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “All federal employees should be able to carry out their duties without fear of attacks based on the performance of those duties.”
The charge of assaulting a federal employee in a manner that inflicts bodily injury carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
— Wire reports