Eureka Postal Worker Says He was the Victim of a Racist Attack While on the Job
A postal worker in Eureka is alleging that he was verbally attacked and then physically assaulted while he delivered mail Friday, May 1 on Albee Street.
Phillippe Tipanda said, about 2:50 in the afternoon, he was listening to music with earbuds and sorting mail as he walked when he thought he heard someone say, “Hey, nigger.”
He says the voice came from a nearby apartment building. He turned towards the building, taking the earbuds out, and asked the person, a woman, to repeat what they’d said. He wanted an apology, he said. But then a man came out of the apartment building.
“A gentleman came out [of the building] first.” he said. Then several women followed. Again, he says, he was called a nigger this time by all of the individuals. Tipanda said he was paying attention to the women when the man punched him on his jaw.
“I dropped my mail and started to defend myself,” he said.
Someone called law enforcement and the women and the man went back into their residence. Tipanda retrieved the mail. When the Eureka Police Department (EPD) arrived, Tipanda said he wanted to press charges.
After Tipanda spoke with the Eureka Police Department, “I had to go to the hospital,” he said. “My jaw was in pain. I had to go for them to look at it and make sure it was not broken.”
As of this point, Tipanda said, he does not believe charges have been filed.
However, Brittany Powell of the Eureka Police Department ssaid that even though there are conflicting statements on who started the incident, the case has been forwarded to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
Later, according to Tipanda, another co-worker told him that he had had the a similar experience with the same individuals at the same apartment building calling him the same racial epithet. However, Tipanda said, that postal worker chose not to confront the individuals and walked away.
Tipanda says that he is trying to have a “good attitude about it so I can do my job right.” However, he will be continuing to deliver the mail on this route and will have to walk by the same home.