The Syracuse man who while high on PCP punched a mailman in the face last year was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison.
Darren Hightower, 31, admitted in April to punching the letter carrier during his delivery route on Syracuse’s North Side. The letter carrier was delivering mail along the 800 block of Burnet Avenue on Oct. 12 last year when Hightower spontaneously approached him and hit him in the head.
Hightower faced a possible 20-year prison sentence. Prosecutors and U.S. District Court Chief Judge Glenn Suddaby agreed such a long sentence was not appropriate for Hightower in part because he had not targeted the victim specifically as a federal employee.
A lawyer for Hightower wrote in court papers the assault was random, and part of a PCP-fueled hallucination. According Hightower’s attorney, he only remembered bits and pieces of the day. After he hit the mailman, he continued walking without saying anything.