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Green was to appear in federal court in Newark on Wednesday on cha

March 22, 1995

Green was to appear in federal court in Newark on Wednesday on charges of robbing a post office, killing two postal workers, carrying a firearm and using a firearm to kill four people inside a post office.

The neighborhood post office is a satellite of the main Montclair station. Earlier this month, the main office put in bulletproof glass to protect its workers, but the substation had no protective glass or surveillance cameras.

Hank Rauer, president of the New Jersey Mid-State Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union, said the station ``averages a couple of thousand dollars a day″ in business.

Postmaster General Marvin Runyon said Wednesday that the small office was considered low-risk. ``We will study this facility and the rest of the facilities in this area in regard to security measures,″ he said.

On Feb. 27, two men held up a small post office in Sayreville, about 25 miles from Montclair. It was unclear how much money was stolen. The Postal Service offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the gunmen’s arrest.

Police Chief Thomas Russo identified the dead postal workers as Stanley Scott Walensky, 42, and Ernest Spruill, 56. The two slain customers were Robert Leslie, 38, and George Lomoga, 59. David Grossman, 45, was shot twice in the face and was in critical condition.

All the victims lived in Montclair except for Lomoga, who lived in Glen Ridge.

The attack shook the normally quiet, middle- to upper-middle-class community of about 38,000 people, 15 miles west of New York City.

Frank Grippaldi, owner of Sizz Haircutters, said he was shocked that the violence hit so close to home. ``I just was over there yesterday,″ he said. ``I mailed my income-tax return and I was talking to Scott Walensky. I knew his father. He was a mail carrier, too.″

But Nick Cannestro, a worker at the Montclair Water Bureau, said he wasn’t surprised.

``I’ve been here three years. I’ve seen a notable change in the past year. Car thefts, break-ins, there’s a lot of tension,″ he said. ``It shouldn’t be a shock. You’re only 10 minutes from New York, five minutes from Newark, a high-crime area. I guess these people have been lucky all these years.″

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