3 years in federal prison for man who pointed pistol at mail carrier who pepper sprayed his pit bull

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man convicted on federal charges after prosecutors said he threatened a mail carrier with a pistol after his pit bull was pepper sprayed was sentenced to serve three years (36 months) in federal prison.

David Polnitz in November 2018 was found guilty by a jury of illegally possessing a firearm and forcibly assaulting, impeding, intimidating or interfering with a United States Postal Service mail carrier.

He was sentenced on April 18.

According to the United States Attorney's Office/Eastern District of Wisconsin, the facts at trial showed that on June 27, 2017, a USPS letter carrier was attempting to deliver mail when Polnitz’s unrestrained pit bull charged the letter carrier. Fearing for his safety, the letter carrier followed procedure and sprayed the pit bull with USPS-issued dog spray.

Polnitz, upon being notified by his spouse of the incident, ultimately pointed a Taurus model PT738 semi-automatic .380 pistol at the letter carrier. The letter carrier identified Polnitz, among other ways, by his distinctive “Pepsi blue” contact lenses.

While sentencing Polnitz, United States District Court Judge Pamela Pepper emphasized that this was one of the more serious cases of its kind that she had seen. She also stressed that the victim in this case was merely doing his job as a letter carrier and should never have been threatened with a gun.

“This sentence sends the message that federal prison awaits anyone who threatens a federal employee,” said United States Attorney Matthew Krueger. “We commend the law enforcement agencies for their excellent work in bringing justice to this matter.”

“The sentencing in this case should send a strong message that Postal Service employees should not be threatened or intimidated while performing their official duties, and should be off limits to acts of violence,” said Inspector in Charge Craig Goldberg, of the Chicago Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection. “The safety of Postal Service employees is our top priority and violence against our employees will never be tolerated.”

The case was investigated by the Milwaukee Police Department and the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General’s Office of Investigations.