News from Nearby

News from Nearby: Heroic Actions of Postal Worker Saves Life in Berkeley Heights

Berkeley Heights postal worker Princess Mendez with Sal Melillo's family members. Princess saved the life of Uncle Sal when she saw his door open and her intuition told her things were very wrong. Credits: Family of Sal Milello
Berkeley Heights postal worker Princess Mendez saved the life of Sal Melillo when she saw his door open and her intuition told her things were very wrong. Credits: Family of Sal Melillo

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The family of Salvatore Melillo believes there is an angel among us after Princepelina Mendez, a US Postal worker, saved his life after finding the 84 year-old unconscious inside his home on December 10 and called 911.

"Her gut knew something wasn't right and she acted on it," said Carla Pastore, Melillo's niece. "In turn, she saved my Uncle Sal's life."

Call it intuition that Mendez was concerned when finding Melillo's door opened a crack during her normal delivery. She called for him with no answer. Although she was concerned, she thought he was probably upstairs and she didn't think it was anything she should pursue.

Sign Up for E-News

When she arrived the next day and the door was opened wider, her gut told her immediately that something was very wrong. She once again called and called to him with no answer. She chose to step inside and saw him lying on the floor a few steps up. "He was cold, his face was very bruised, his breathing was shallow and he was unresponsive," said Pastore. "She told him to hang in there and that she was getting him help." 

She saw a tear roll down his face and ran to her truck to get her cell phone to call 911.

Pastore, who lives a few doors down from her uncle, was outside at the time and Mendez called to her to come over.  "She was clearly upset for him and just kept saying, 'Please let him be ok,'" said Pastore.

"It's people like Princess that add so much to our community," said Pastore. "It's a wonderful feeling to know that we have another member of our community who looks out for others."

Mendez is not just a mail carrier -- she gets to know the customers on her route and takes a personal interest in them.

It was reported that Mendez did not tell anyone of what happened and was reprimanded for being 20 minutes off the clock. The Postmaster received a letter from Melillo's family praising Mendez of her heroic actions.

Mendez has been delivering mail for 23 years, and has been on this route for 15 of those years. She has known Sal and his wife Vicki, who passed away a few years ago. Mendez had became more concerned about "Uncle Sal" being alone after his wife's passing. "She told me she worries about him because he is older and since she has a mom that is aging as well, it makes her all the more concerned for him," said Pastore.

Melillo, a retired Newark Detective and postal worker, is an active elderly man who attends church daily and spends many days meeting with his friends. Uncle Sal has not had health issues that would be a problem to live alone, said Pastore. 

He remains in the hospital in stable condition and hopes to be home for Christmas. He wants to personally thank Mendez as soon as he is released from the hospital. "I know he is very touched by her compassion and having the intuition to know there was something wrong," said Pastore. "I don't know how you show someone your appreciation for saving their life, but if I know my Uncle Sal, the minute he is able to, he will do everything he can to let her know she is his hero."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Clark's CityMD Urgent Care Shares Flu Survey

CLARK, NJ - As flu season is in full gear and the probability of catching the flu is a real concern, a majority of Americans admit to taking actions that may contribute to the spread of this highly contagious virus.  According to a recent survey, roughly three out of five Americans who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms (61%) admitted to being out and about the last time they ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, February 25, 2:00 PM

The Clark Public Library, Clark

Take Your Child to the Library Day

Arts & Entertainment


Thu, March 1, 4:00 PM

Barnes and Noble, Springfield

Grab the Family and Head to a Very Special Read ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Fri, March 2, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Clark VFW : Spotlight on Joseph Horling

February’s spotlight is on Joseph Horling , Staff Sergeant US Army 1942-1946.

Joe was born in Rahway NJ on Oct 1, 1920.  He and his brother Anthony were born to Anthony Sr. and Bertha Horling .  Joe’s father was born in Munich and his mother Bertha in Austria. 

Joe enlisted in the Merchant Marines in 1942.  Eight months later, in 1943, he enlisted in the US ...

Kiwanis Clark - Flapjack and Raffle Fundraiser

February 24, 2018

KIWANIS CLUB OF CLARK—The Clark Kiwanis Club, the local chapter of the worldwide philanthropic organization that aids children's causes and charities, has announced their upcoming Flapjack Fundraiser for Sunday, March 18, 2018, from 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. at the Clark Applebee's.

The Clark club is the parent organization for the ALJ High School Key Club, the Kumpf Middle School ...

First Hand Account: Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 22, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Don't Rule Out a College Based Solely on Sticker Price Here's Why

Has your child been crossing schools off their college list based solely on the sticker price?  In this week's Tuesday Takeaway, Chris Curran talks about why the sticker price is often far higher than the actual price you will pay.    Take a listen to Chris Curran's latest chat and don't forget to check out his book College Funding ...

Choosing a College With the 'Right' Fit

Do you know if your child is choosing a college with the right fit?  Do you know what the right fit means or why it matters?  Take a listen to Chris Curran's latest chat about why fit matters and don't forget to check out his book College Funding Secrets.  

Check out other columns by Chris here.

Scutari vs Mahr

February 14, 2018

I read with interest in a local newspaper regarding the Union county democrat party political infighting for their “county chair” selection.  There were 2 letters juxtaposed, each one listing supporters of either Senator Scutari or Fanwood Mayor Mahr, who are the two main people vying for the “boss” position.

Although I am a democrat I am not a committee ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...