ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- After police say a Chinese food delivery man was carjacked and assaulted Saturday in Palm Coast, some delivery men are pausing to discuss what they do to remain safe on the job.
Casey Lynch is the delivery manger for Munchi's Express in St. Augustine.
"We are a third party delivery service for local restaurants," Lynch explained. He and fellow delivery staff deliver food from all kinds of eateries, such as pizza from Carmelo's pizzeria.
They go all over and into different kinds of neighborhoods, and Lynch strongly suggests "trust[ing] your instincts. That is big. If you don't feel good about it, don't do it."
Commander Chuck Mulligan with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office agrees. In St. Johns County -- like many places -- there aren't any local laws pertaining to safety of delivery personnel, Mulligan said, "but there are some safety practices folks can follow."
One practice is to not carry a lot of cash in the delivery car.
"Have it widely known to your customers that your delivery persons carry a minimum amount of cash on them, therefore that alleviates the threat someone would think you're a target," Mulligan explained.
If a neighborhood has had problems in the past, "certainly they could send an extra rider with them for added security," Mulligan added.
Lynch also carries a bit of protection. He said, "I definitely encourage all of my drivers to carry mace. I feel that's the most efficient non-lethal way to protect yourself."
Mulligan noted, "Carrying or using weapons is something that's a personal decision and/or a business policy."
Deputies and police also urge delivery men and women to avoid being lured to another location even if it's just down the street from the initial destination.
This past weekend's case of a Chinese food delivery man being carjacked and beaten in Palm Coast is a sad reminder for Lynch. "I think that's pretty intense. It definitely an extreme case of danger in this type of business ... but it's still something you have to watch out for."