A former Las Vegas Police Department officer is facing a federal assault charge for punching a United States Postal Service mail carrier earlier this month.

Robert F. Gutierrez, of Las Vegas, is charged with one count of assault on a federal officer resulting in bodily injury following a Dec. 3 incident outside Gutierrez’s home in Las Vegas. Gutierrez is accused of punching the mail carrier multiple times, causing the man to lose consciousness at one point, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court Dec. 5.

Following an investigation by LVPD and federal law enforcement officers with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, investigators viewed surveillance video that captured a portion of the incident and determined Gutierrez violated federal law by striking the mail carrier, a federal employee.

Gutierrez was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal’s Service on Dec. 6, according to court records.

The surveillance video showed Gutierrez walk up to the mail carrier while he was standing near a U.S. Postal Service vehicle parked along a curb in the 500 block of Sun Drive. When the carrier stepped onto the sidewalk, Gutierrez appeared to punch the man in the face, according to the complaint.

The carrier walked around the back of the vehicle, away from Gutierrez, and Gutierrez followed him. In the road, the two men bumped into each other and extended their arms “as if they were puffing out their chests,” according to the complaint. The mail carrier walked back to the truck, and Gutierrez followed, again punching the man in the face. The punch caused the carrier to fall and hit the front of the postal vehicle.

The two men again entered the middle of the road and Gutierrez punched the carrier a third time, causing the man to fall to the ground. The carrier appeared to lose consciousness for several seconds. Gutierrez rolled the man over, and then walked toward his home.

Gutierrez told LVPD officers that he’d been expecting a USPS parcel that the mail carrier didn’t deliver to his door. Instead, the carrier had left a notice in Gutierrez’s mailbox informing him that he could pick the parcel up at the post office.

Gutierrez told police that when he saw the carrier delivering mail across the street, he confronted him about the notice and asked where the parcel was. Gutierrez said he and the carrier got into an argument, and that the carrier threatened Gutierrez and his family by referencing “one-eight-seven,” a slang term for murder.

The carrier was admitted to Alta Vista Regional Hospital and was treated for lacerations to his forehead, a bloody nose, a swollen eye and cheek and scrapes of his hands, according to the complaint.

During an interview at the hospital, the carrier told LVPD officers that he and Gutierrez had been having “issues” over differing political views, and that when he noticed the parcel required a signature by Gutierrez, he decided to leave the notice in the mailbox rather than risk “another issue” with Gutierrez.

A USPS supervisor told police the carrier’s decision to not attempt to deliver the parcel was against USPS policy, according to the complaint.

During a detention hearing Dec. 8, Judge Kirtan Khalsa released Gutierrez ahead of trial with the stipulations that he not travel outside of New Mexico, and that he undergo a mental health assessment or mental health treatment if directed by pretrial services. Gutierrez is also prohibited from possessing a firearm or drinking alcohol.

A trial date had not been set as of this writing.

(1) comment

Kahzria Daedryk

And that Supervisor would be incorrect. As Postal carriers, if we feel that there is a danger or we are threatened in some way, shape or form at a given address, we are allowed to leave 3849s (notices) to have the customer pick the parcel up at the post office. We are not required to put ourselves in harms way to deliver your parcels.

Also, we are not supposed to be talking politics on the job, though there are customers that make assumptions and take your neutrality to be the "other side" all the time.

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