Federal prosecutors on Wednesday accused a man high on PCP of robbing a postal carrier Tuesday in Kansas City, leading police on a chase and fighting with officers.
Prosecutors allege that Melvin L. Frierson, 31, stole five bundles of undelivered mail and numerous items of outgoing mail after accosting the carrier at his mail truck about 1 p.m. at 2311 E. 44th St.
The victim told police he was returning to his truck when a man exited a nearby car wearing a camouflage jacket, rhinestone necklace, sunglasses and a hat. The man demanded money. The carrier told him he didn’t have any.
The carrier tried to drive away, but the man grabbed the truck keys and the carrier’s satchel. He threw the satchel to the floorboard after realizing it contained no money. The carrier retrieved a canister of pepper spray from it, according to court records. He sprayed the robber, who didn’t show any effects. The robber then demanded that the carrier open the back of the truck.
The carrier opened the rear door before running away, yelling for help. Nearby residents who heard his cries saw the robber loading mail into his car trunk. One neighbor provided a car description. Another neighbor videotaped the incident.
Officers saw the vehicle exiting Bruce R. Watkins Drive at Truman Road. When officers tried to stop the car, the driver fled from them. At one point during the 10-minute chase, the driver pulled over and released a female passenger.
Then he sped into Independence, where he ran over a spike strip that officers had placed in the roadway to flatten his tires. The car conked out near Truman and North Wilson Street and the driver ran, but officers caught the suspect. Police found bundles of mail in the trunk along with the carrier’s satchel and hat.
Officers drove Frierson to Kansas City police headquarters, where he moved his handcuffed wrists from behind his back to his front and bolted from the garage, according to court records. An officer fired a stun gun at him, but it had little effect. Other officers helped get Frierson under control and into jail.
On Wednesday, Frierson told police he had smoked PCP all day Tuesday with his female friend. He said he “could not remember much else.” He said he recognized the mailman from his childhood and approached him to say hello.
“The next thing he knew,” court records say of the account he gave to police, “he was driving the car and … police were chasing them.”
Frierson told investigators to tell the mailman “he was sorry,” the records said.