The postman never rings at all — until PIX11’s Arnold Diaz comes calling

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OZONE PARK, Queens (PIX11) -- For almost four months,  postal carriers have been passing by 97-05 103rd Ave., an  apartment building in Ozone Park,  Queens,  without making any attempt to deliver the mail. The tenants have been forced to go to the local post office, 10  blocks aways,  to pick up their mail. Why?

Landlords Mike Tummolo and his son Mike Jr. say instead of the postman carrying  keys to open the front doors of the apartment buildings on his route, as he used to, in November the Postal Service began requiring  a box  on the outside of the apartment buildings where the key to the front door could be kept.   The Tummolos  put the box in, but the Postal  Service said it’s too far away from the  door.  The landlords says they were never told where the box had to be and it’s too cold to move it now.

“The cement doesn’t set well when it’s that cold”, said Mike, Jr.,  who sought to work out a middle ground with the post office to ensure delivery, and then move the box when the weather got better.

But the postal service said no, and has refused to deliver mail to the building ever since.  The surveillance cameras show the carriers walking past the building, past the key keeper box, never stopping.

We went to the Post Office on Liberty Avenue in Ozone P ark.

“I’m  trying to  find out why they can’t get their mail at 97-05 103rd Ave.,” I asked the woman in charge.  She responded: “Oh, speak to the landlord, he knows exactly why.” But it turns out the landlord is not problem, the Postal  Service is. All it took was a few calls from PIX11 Investigates, and what had been a  shameful  situation for months has now been resolved.

 John Lunghi, the postmaster of Jamaica, took a look and said the problem is not the placement of the key keeper box.

“It’s not ideal, but it will work,” he told me.  “So what was the problem? I asked. “ For all these months they weren’t getting the mail?

“I think actually it was a misunderstanding from our part,” said Lunghi. “Mr. Tommolo wanted to get the key into the box and we just never coordinated it right to get the key into the box.”

That’s it?  No keys in the key keeper box? Mike Tummolo Jr. says: “They maybe lost the keys. Burt we were never told they were lost. We were never told the keys were the problem.”  The landlord provided a new set of keys and now after almost four months, the Postal Service is finally delivering the tenants mail to their building.  I’m sure you guys at PIX11 had something to do with it”, said Mike, Jr.

If you’ve got a story idea—email us at pix11investgates@pix11.com Or follow me on Facebook and Twitter