Mail Carrier found Drunk, Inside a Residence

MARION — Police arrested a mail carrier after she was found drunk inside a residence while on the job in Marion earlier this month, authorities said Tuesday.

Kristine A. Pflughaupt, 46, of Marion, was charged with public intoxication Nov. 3 after she was found sitting on the kitchen floor of a house at 260 Sixth Avenue, eating leftover noodles from Marie O'Kelly's refrigerator.

Marion police Lt. Steve Etzel said Pflughaupt entered the home through an unlocked front door. She apparently was intoxicated when she was dropped off to complete her route, he said.

"She was in uniform and had mail and a mail-carrying bag with her," Etzel said.

O'Kelly, 95, said she was watching TV in another room when she heard a noise. She thought her daughter had arrived, but became suspicious when no one came to greet her.

When she went to check, O'Kelly said she found Pflughaupt sitting on her kitchen floor. She was using her hands to eat leftover noodles, and they were running down Pflughaupt's shirt. O'Kelly didn't recognize her as the mail carrier.

"I said, 'What are you doing here?' and she didn't answer me," O'Kelly said. "She just kept eating those noodles."

Police and firefighters arrived around 4:45 p.m. and Pflughaupt was arrested. Preliminary breath tests showed her blood alcohol content to be .281, police said.

Pflughaupt, a 17-year employee of the U.S. Postal Service, was taken to the Linn County Jail. Marion Postmaster Rick Leyendecker said Pflughaupt is currently on unpaid leave. The incident happened his second day as Postmaster.

Any disciplinary action will be determined after police finish their criminal investigation, Leyendecker said.

"I just have to let the investigation run its course," Leyendecker said.
O'Kelly said she was shook up, but was not injured in the incident.

"It was a shocker, is what it was," O'Kelly said.

According to online court records, Pflughaupt has three convictions for operating while intoxicated, including one just three months ago. Her prison sentence was suspended in that incident.

Attempts to reach Pflughaupt were unsuccessful.
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