A man is facing charges after a mailman was assaulted and robbed Tuesday.
Court documents say he and his female accomplice had smoked PCP prior to the robbery and he doesn't remember much after that.
According to court documents, 31-year-old Melvin L. Frierson used force, violence and/or fear to take items from someone who works for the United States Postal Service.
He and a woman were taken into custody Tuesday after they tried to out run officers in both Independence and Kansas City following the robbery. The two were wanted for an aggravated robbery of a mailman that happened shortly after 1 p.m. on East 44th Street near Olive Street on Kansas City's east side.
Court documents said a postal carrier told police he was delivering mail and had just returned to his mail truck when he noticed a gray vehicle parked on the other side of the street directly parallel to his. A man, later identified as Frierson, got out and approached him and calmly demanded "the money" while a woman waited in the nearby vehicle.
The mail carrier said he told the man he didn't have any money, but Frierson insisted he did. When the mailman tried to drive off, Frierson reached through the window and removed the keys from the ignition. Frierson also reportedly grabbed the mailman's satchel and began going through it.
Even after the mailman said he pepper sprayed Frierson, he said it seemed to have no effect on him. When Frierson began going through the contents in the back of the truck, the mailman said he ran off and called police.
When police arrived the mail carrier pointed out that about five bundles of undelivered mail had been stolen as well as numerous outgoing letters that he had collected on his route and his satchel, winter hat and two blue sweatshirts.
Court documents said another witness also spotted Frierson removing mail from the postal carrier's truck and putting it into his own vehicle. The witness was able to give police a license plate number.
Police spotted the vehicle a few minutes later near East Truman Road and Troost Avenue and tried to stop it in Kansas City, MO, but the driver refused to stop. Kansas City police had their helicopter follow the car.
As the helicopter followed the car, it traveled at a high rate of speed, and sometimes veered into oncoming traffic.
The vehicle then traveled into Independence where their officers were able to help stop it by throwing down stop sticks. The vehicle came to a stop near East Truman Road and North Wilson Street, and police said Frierson tried to get out and run. Officers were able to capture and arrest him.
When the vehicle was eastbound on Interstate 70 near Van Brunt Boulevard, the woman jumped out and she was arrested by Kansas City police there. She was later identified as 34-year-old Travell Campbell.
Court documents say Frierson also tried to run off when he was transported to the police department for booking. They say he was able to move his handcuffed wrists from behind him to his front, he pushed the transporting officer and ran out of the jail's garage door. Despite having a Taser used on him, police said Frierson continued to fight the officer and struck him in the head. After being subdued, police said he tried to flee again, but was unsuccessful.
Both Campbell and Frierson told police in interviews that they smoked PCP before robbing the mailman.
Frierson said during his interview that he couldn't remember much after smoking the PCP.
"He recognized the mailman from his childhood and said hello. He said the next thing he knew, he was driving the car and Campbell was yelling at him, telling him the police were chasing them. He did not know why they were being chased, but did not stop, even though he saw the lights and heard the sirens," the affidavit said. "Frierson said he did not remember having a confrontation with the mailman, did not remember stealing mail from the back of the mail truck, and could not explain the presence of stolen mail in the trunk of his vehicle."
Court documents said Frierson seemed upset that he had possibly hurt someone and asked investigators to tell the mailman he was sorry.
United States Postal Inspection Services are investigating it as a federal crime.
"A robbery situation such as this, that doesn't happen very often, not in the Kansas City area, so it's not something that's happening every month, and it may be a year in between incidents like that," said Inspector David Nitz.
No accidents or serious injuries resulted from the chase. The mailman was not injured, but according to police was "shook up" by the incident.
Frierson has been charged with one count of stealing mail.
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