Santa Monica police arrested the man on suspicion of assaulting or harassing three postmen for a period of three months – but he is back on the streets because authorities say his crimes are not enough to keep him behind bars.
Residents of block 1300 on 14th Street have not received their mail for half a week due to three attacks by Davon Ray Morgan, 38, on postal workers since January, according to the United States Postal Service.
‘Delivery is temporarily suspended; this is an unusual but necessary step to protect our staff, ‘tweeted USPS spokeswoman Natasha Garvin on Monday.
Morgan was arrested on April 6 on charges of vandalism and drug equipment unrelated to incidents involving postal workers, but he was released on Monday due to a pandemic measure without bail.
“Current Los Angeles County Emergency Bail Orders state that certain offenses are not subject to remand in custody, but instead the perpetrator is given a quote and released,” said Santa Monica Police spokeswoman Lieutenant Erika Aklufi.
Morgan has not been charged with the attacks on the postmen, but Santa Monica police confirm he is the suspect.
In the first attack, on Jan. 19, the neighborhood’s longtime postman was attacked with a broomstick on 14th Street and Arizona Avenue, three blocks from the beach.
Santa Monica police said officers took a report of an assault with a deadly weapon and launched an investigation, but the postman refused to file charges.
‘The case was assigned to our detectives, who reached out to the victim several times during the investigation. About a month later, the postman rejected prosecution for the incident, ‘said Aklufi.
Police say they have not received any other reports.
A worker in the United States Postal Service (USPS) loads packages from his truck. Mail service has been suspended in a Santa Monica neighborhood due to recent assaults on postmen
The 1300 block of 14th Street in Santa Monica, pictured, is the scene of at least three assaults on postmen in recent months, the USPS said
Jim Price, who lives next door to where the postmen were attacked, said he witnessed one of the incidents.
“I saw it all,” he said. ‘He screamed [postal worker’s] face. Extremely threatening. He said ‘I have to f — you up.’ He is six feet tall. He’s scary. ‘
Price said Morgan moved in with an elderly woman on the block and works to and fro as her caretaker.
But Price said he has an unstable temperament and often seen threatening neighbors with a golf club.
“Everyone runs inside when we see him coming, especially the women,” Price said.
Residents of the 1300 block of 14th Street must pick up their mail after the service was suspended due to a series of attacks on mail carriers
The neighbor said Morgan has been living with the woman for three years, but recently she was hospitalized and he has not been able to get into her apartment.
“When he’s out of meth, he’s almost ready,” Price said. “But when he’s out, he makes no sense at all.”
U.S. Postal Service investigators are on the case.
“The postal inspector did not believe that reports were made to USPIS by postmen and is now working to locate other postal workers who may have been victims and obtain information for an investigation,” Aklufi wrote in an email.
Price described his values as a ‘left-wing wooden frame that loves the homeless.’
The homeless population has grown like mushrooms in Venice, California. A census in 2014 showed only 175 homeless people. Five years later, the number was more than 1,200, but in the last year, the situation has gotten out of control
‘We see fights almost daily. There is drug use out in the open, there is semi-nudity when urinating and defecating under a tree. We have had our bikes stolen, there are fires, there are needles everywhere and the children at the school are exposed to it all, says a resident.
Crime, in which the suspect was listed as homeless, has risen by 31 percent in Venice over the past year, according to police statistics, analyzed by NBC News. Homeless crime victims rose by 83 percent over the same period
“I feel sorry for them,” he said. “But what I’ve seen here has made me rethink it all.”
The alleged post-Buddhist will be back in court for the vandalism charge in May, but he is also under investigation for making criminal threats and violence in March.
“Once completed, these cases will be presented to either the city attorney (misdemeanor) or the district attorney (crime) for filing for consideration,” Aklufi said. ‘Investigators in our department and USPIS to ensure that mail can be delivered safely to all our residents.
During the week of April 2, the total number of violent crimes in Los Angeles increased by seven percent, with robberies up over 17 percent and assaults up over four percent.
Los Angeles County Prosecutor George Gascon, who is the subject of a recall, initiated a series of criminal law reforms that have since been blown up in his face.
The recall campaign must have 566,856 signatures by July to force a new election, but the effort is almost halfway there, having collected 200,000.