LOS ANGELES – Postal Inspectors this morning 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.
Valenzuela is expected to make her initial appearance this afternoon in United States District Court.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Valenzuela apparently believed that the mail carrier’s vehicle had cut her off at an intersection in Pasadena. Valenzuela shouted obscenities and followed the victim to her next stop, where Valenzuela ran up the victim, who had walked to the entrance of a building on Lake Avenue. According to witnesses, Valenzuela screamed additional obscenities and racial epithets at the victim before spraying the victim in the face with pepper spray, which caused the victim to suffer severe pain and blurred vision.
“The evidence in this case indicates that a postal carrier carrying out her duties was the victim of an unwarranted attack,” said United States 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.”
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
The charge of assaulting a federal employee in a manner that inflicts bodily injury carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, which received assistance from the Pasadena Police Department and the Monrovia Police Department.