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Man charged with felony harassment for alleged threats against postal workers

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 21, 2017, 11:27 p.m.

The man whose alleged threats against postal workers led to a two-month-long mail stoppage for three blocks of West Wabash Avenue was charged with harassment and then released from custody without having to post bail.

He will be tried on the felony charges in November.

Gregory Huston, 62, is accused of threatening to kill a U.S. Postal Service employee who delivered mail to residents along a route in the Garland-Shadle neighborhood that included Huston.

The June threat was the most recent in a series of threatening actions that two postal workers claim stretch back to October 2016, according to court documents. Huston repeatedly sought out mail carriers on his block and would spit at them, curse, and threaten to kill them, the postal workers claim.

The first incident involved Huston swearing at the postal carrier and telling him to leave, which led to Huston and his mother – who lives with him – having to sign a warning letter from the USPS promising it wouldn’t happen again, the documents say.

The second incident allegedly occurred a short time later in November. Huston was shoveling snow outside his house, but when he saw the postal worker he moved “like a ninja,” grabbing the shovel and holding it across his chest while spitting and swearing, the postal worker claims.

Both postal workers said that they felt intimidated by Huston, and they worried he might try to run them over with his car or shoot them, according to court documents.

Huston apparently believed that the postal workers had made his mother cry, which she denied to police, and he thought his mail delivery had been stopped for personal reasons. He also told police officers that he has had a grudge toward the post office since, he said, a postal worker had made fun of his disabled father, the documents say.

While city officials have helped to negotiate a temporary fix for the 32 households that no longer receive home mail delivery, USPS spokesman Ernie Swanson told The Spokesman-Review in July that the only way traditional delivery could be restored would be if Huston no longer resided on the block.

Huston’s mother told police that her son has schizophrenia, and that she has never heard her son threaten anyone, according to court records.

Rob Cossey, who is representing Huston, declined to comment. When The Spokesman-Review called Huston at his home, his mother declined to comment and said her son was being booked at the Spokane County Jail.