Lexington police now say a postal worker tried to detain, but didn’t assault, a teenage boy after the postal employee tried to stop a package theft in a Lexington neighborhood last weekend.
Police also said there will be no charges pressed against the postal worker.
On Sunday, Lexington police initially said the boy was trying to stop the theft by another teen when he was attacked by the postal worker. At the time, police said the boy suffered minor injuries, and officers took a report for fourth-degree assault.
On Wednesday, Lexington police offered more details from their investigation.
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Brenna Angel, spokeswoman for Lexington police, said a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, who were friends, were walking from a store Sunday afternoon in the 200 block of Bassett Avenue. The older boy saw the package on a porch and decided to take it, she said.
The younger boy told his friend not to take the package, Angel said, but didn’t physically stop him from taking it. The two then continued to walk home. At that point, the postal worker, who had dropped off the package, saw the two teens and told them to stop.
“That’s when the 16-year-old drops the package,” Angel said. The two boys ran off in separate directions. The postal worker then made physical contact with the younger boy in an attempt to detain him, but the teen wasn’t hurt, she said.
Information gathered at the scene is always preliminary, Angel said, and that’s why investigators do follow-ups.
Angel said the mother of the younger boy didn’t want to press charges. Neither the teens nor the postal worker have been publicly identified.
The U.S. Postal Service declined to comment, but a local letter carriers association came to the employee’s defense.
“I would never recommend that any of our members take the law into their own hands,” Ken Becraft, president of Lexington’s branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers, wrote to the Herald-Leader. “In this case, however, that is hardly what happened.”
Becraft said that a surveillance video showed the two boys walking together, that one served as a “lookout” while the other took the package, and that both walked away after the theft. In his letter, Becraft said the teen who was initially reported as being assaulted fell while running away.
“No assault actually occurred!” Becraft wrote. “The letter carrier simply detained him until the police arrived.”