A Columbia man was charged on Monday after he allegedly hit someone with a metal pipe at the Columbia Post office on Walnut Street.
Eddie B. Linzie, 43, was charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in the incident.
Columbia Police responded to an assault at the Columbia Post Office around 1:30 Monday morning.
Linzie allegedly argued with the victim inside the Columbia Post Office on Monday and told police that the victim pulled a knife on him, according to a probable cause statement.
A witness told police they saw Linzie arguing with the victim in the Post Office, then saw Linzie swinging a pole around while the victim walked out of the Post Office toward the Columbia Police Department, court documents said.
Linzie told police the victim was laying down, sleeping in the Post Office, as he hit the victim with the PVC pipe on the forehead, court documents said. Linzie said he put the CVC pipe in a dumpster by the Post Office, and police later found it.
The victim suffered life-threatening injuries to the head. Hospital personnel described the injuries as a "depressed skull fracture" and "air trapped in his skull", court documents said.
Linzie does have a criminal past. He was previously arrested for trespassing, resisting, interfering with an arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to appear misdemeanor, driving while suspended, multiple accounts of assault, unlawful use of a weapon, multiple accounts of domestic assault, DWI and armed criminal action.
Linzie is being held in the Boone County Jail on no bond.
After the attack, ABC 17 News spoke with several people who expressed concern over safety at the post office.
“Not really when there’s a lot of homeless people, said Paige Alex a Columbia resident. “Because they don’t really keep to themselves. They’re very vocal and try to get your attention and especially if I’m walking alone at night I don’t feel comfortable.”
While others disagree and said this was likely an isolated incident.
“I come to the post office a lot and I’ve never run into any incidents that have happened here,” said Robert Thompson a Columbia resident. “So I always feel safe for the most part coming up here.”
The post office does close at seven on weeknights but the PO box section is unlocked 24/7, often homeless people stay in the building to keep warm.
ABC 17 News asked what could be done to avoid crimes, like the assault from happening again.
“I think if there were some other incidents or if this happened more than once or on a constant basis then I think we would need security but other than that,” said Thompson. “I don’t feel we need any security.”
The United States post office said it does not have security as the Columbia police department is across the street and officers check the area.
“Maybe security around the hours that they know that the people are going to be like the homeless people are attracted to this area,” said Alex.
The US postal service said they have not received any complaints or concerns from the public.
They welcome anyone with any concerns to tell a postmaster or supervisor in person, call 800-275-8777 or go to their website.