An employee of Verizon Communications has been charged with allegedly cutting underground fiber lines that temporarily knocked out service to thousands of customers in Long Island served by rival provider Cablevision Systems, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
Vincent Gargano, 40, was charged with criminal mischief and tampering Tuesday for allegedly cutting service lines on January 7, the paper said, noting that authorities are basing the arrest partly on evidence captured by surveillance cameras near the scene. Gargano also agreed to take a polygraph test, but failed it, the paper said, citing an unnamed source.
The suspected line cuts knocked out service for almost six hours to about 6,000 Cablevision residential and business customers in the Holbrook area of Suffolk County. Cablevision hasn’t put a financial figure on the damage caused, but did issue credits to the affected customers.
Verizon spokesman John Bonomo confirmed that Gargano is employed by the company as a technician and that the telco is cooperating with authorities on the matter.
"I can confirm that Mr. Gargano is a Verizon employee. Actions such as the police describe are not consistent with how Verizon conducts business. Network sabotage can present a public danger, so it’s something we take very seriously. We are assisting the police in their investigation," Bonomo said in a statement.