A 23-year veteran postal carrier was pepper-sprayed in what Pasadena police were calling a possible road rage attack Wednesday. Police were searching for the woman who attacked her.
YWCA workers came to the woman's aid after what she called an unprovoked attack as she delivered mail at 10:30 a.m. on Lake Street.
"We started hearing shouting out on the front street," Jessica Kubel, who works at the YWCA, said. "The shouting got louder and more aggressive with a lot of really awful racial slurs."
Kubel said she went out to the patio area of the YWCA, and was shocked.
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"She's covered with something and she's burning and we are all starting to cough all of a sudden. She's saying, 'she sprayed me,'" Kubel said.
Kubel and fellow co-workers acted quickly to help the postal worker.
"We have some milk in our youth room for after school we used to rinse the pepper spray out of her face, and called 911," Kubel said.
Kubel managed to snap a few pictures of the car the accused attacker was driving in before the woman took off.
"While we were out there, the woman who pepper sprayed her was still yelling and screaming at us," Kubel said.
She handed the photos over to the police, who are now looking for a late-model white pickup truck and the woman in her 50s with dark-colored hair and wearing a black shirt or blouse.
Police said the woman suspected in the attack followed the 55-year-old female carrier after she felt the postal worker "cut her off" at the intersection of Mar Vista Avenue and Claremont Street.
She followed her to the 1000 block of Lake Avenue, in front of the YWCA, to confront her about the traffic incident, and began yelling at the postal worker.
The US Post Service released a statement, reminding the public that assault on a postal worker is a federal crime.
"The safety and well-being of its employees is paramount to the U.S. Postal Service," the agency said in a statement about the incident.
Pasadena Police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, a federal law enforcement agency, are investigating.
"As a woman who works for an organization that is all about eliminating racism and empowering women it is pretty shocking to have this happen in front of our building," Kubel said. "Hopefully they catch the woman who did this to her."