A Setauket man who works as a technician for Verizon has been charged with criminal mischief after damaging Cablevision wires last month and knocking out service to about 6,000 customers for more than five hours, officials said Wednesday.
Vincent Gargano, 40, of 44 Ridgeway Ave., was arrested Tuesday morning and posted $500 cash bail later in the day after being arraigned in First District Court in Central Islip on a charge of criminal mischief in the second degree, according to police and online court records. The charge is a felony and covers intentional damages in excess of $1,500.
He also was charged with criminal tampering in the first degree, a felony which applies to causing an interruption to telephone, utility or other service to the public, online records show.
Suffolk County police said the wires were cut on Jan. 7 at Patchogue Holbrook Road in Holbrook. Cablevision said at the time of the incident that service to about 6,000 customers in Bohemia, Ronkonkoma, Holbrook and South Holbrook was disrupted from about 1:30 p.m. to about 7 p.m.
Verizon spokesman John Bonomo confirmed Wednesday that Gargano was a Verizon technician.
"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.
He declined to say whether Gargano was working for Verizon in Holbrook at the time of the alleged incident.
Cablevision owns Newsday.