Crime

A salon owner says the actions of mail carrier Robert Taitano made her physically sick

Tacoma police reports detail allegations from more than a dozen women who say mail carrier Robert Taitano harassed them.

The reports give a particularly detailed account of one woman’s complaints about Taitano when he delivered mail to the South Tacoma salon she owns.

On May 6, 2013, she reported to the U.S. Postal Service that Taitano had assaulted, sexually harassed and stalked her, and once grabbed her butt.

He was a substitute mail carrier on her route for several years, and she described him as flirtatious and inappropriate. She said he’d hang around the salon after delivering the mail and spoke with her customers, making them uncomfortable.

Once he rubbed her shoulders and back, and she told him not to touch her. He regularly asked for hugs, and she’d tell him no. When she said she didn’t hug strangers, he said he wasn’t a stranger, he was her mailman.

She lost weight, and said that after that Taitano seemed to become more aggressive.

In April 2013, he grabbed her butt while she was sweeping the floor. He said he was measuring her by holding out his hands to see how much weight she’d lost and had accidentally touched her.

That same month, she was talking with a client about the death of a family member in a private area of the business when he came in and wouldn’t leave when asked.

He massaged her back and said: “Get ready,” at which point she said she hurt her back, and he stopped.

After this, the woman made a formal complaint to Taitano’s supervisors. He kept coming inside, and customers started to tell him to leave.

The salon owner would get sick to her stomach and run and lock herself in a back room until he left. From there, she could hear him asking customers where she was.

Once he said: “I saw you were alone and thought I would come in,” then gave her mail he said he thought was from her mortgage company.

“Did you move?” he asked her.

She took this to mean he knew where she lived and was letting her know he had her personal information.

She started locking the doors of the business before he arrived. Sometimes he would come back after delivering the mail, apparently knowing she would have unlocked the doors and he could come in.

Another time, a business owner next door warned her the “creepy mailman” was around. The salon owner got up to lock the door, but Taitano appeared, confronted her and walked into the salon.

He said, “Mail” in an abrupt way, gave her the materials and left.

She told police she was upset that he had showed up again and went home with enough stress that she went to the emergency room.

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