Bangor Hydro crew pulled from site after death threat

Posted Dec. 26, 2013, at 2:44 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 27, 2013, at 1:47 p.m.

SURRY, Maine — Bangor Hydro Electric Co. workers trying to restore power to residents here were pulled from the site Thursday after a threat was made by a customer to the service center. The dissatisfied customer in the area threatened to kill someone if his power was not restored, Bangor Hydro spokesperson Susan Faloon said.

The customer first approached a crew in his area and asked if the repairs they were working on at that time would restore power to his home, according to Faloon. He was told they would not.

The customer then returned to his home and called the Bangor Hydro service center to express his frustration.

Faloon paraphrased the man’s threat to the service center worker: “If that crew doesn’t turn around and get my power back on I’m probably going to lose it. I’m probably going to kill someone.”

And while Faloon acknowledged the frustration many are experiencing, she noted that “any kind of threat or harassment is going to be taken very seriously.”

“We get it,” Faloon said. “We have a lot of employees who are without power, as well.”

About six crew members were pulled from the Surry area as a result of the call, which likely will slow the process of restoration in that area.

The incident was reported to Maine State Police, who said they didn’t have any additional details early Thursday afternoon regarding whether there had been an arrest or charges filed against the caller.

Ellsworth police officers monitored the scene until the crew left. Lt. Harold Page of the Ellsworth Police Department said the customer did not return to speak with the crew.

According to Bangor Hydro’s website, 11,553 customers were without power on Thursday morning as a result of the ice storm that swept through the area earlier this week. The majority are in Hancock County.

At least 275 Bangor Hydro workers are in the field working to restore power, Faloon said. Another 98 people are answering calls and supporting the effort in the field.

Faloon said that repeated efforts to call the service center only hold up progress. She also added that customers should not take matters into their own hands and attempt to clear power lines themselves because some lines may be active.

“Any time customers go out and talk to our crews whether it’s threatening or not, it holds things up and it’s somewhat dangerous,” said Gerry Chasse, president of Bangor Hydro.

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