A man from Utica has been arrested for allegedly entering a property in Oneida County so that he could disconnect power from communications towers vital for emergency medical services communications.
Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol entered the fenced area in which the communications towers were located around noon on Saturday and cut power to those towers. The two towers with the power cut control communications for Utica City SMU and New Hartford City SMU. Maciol says the investigation by multiple agencies determined the power outage was an intentional act.
Maciol says the investigation determined that Nathanial Sergio, 39, who was also under “house arrest” at the time, was in the restricted area with the intention of vandalizing the towers. Officials say they were able to pinpoint Sergio’s location using the GPS ankle bracelet following his house arrest. It was with the help of Herkimer County Probation that enabled police to determine Sergio’s location, according to Maciol.
After the power outage Maciol says the ankle bracelet worn by Sergio helped determine where he was driving after the blackout and while on Oriskany Boulevard Sergio was pulled over by police near the intersection from Oriskany Boulevard and Clinton Street around 3 p.m.
Following his actions, police said Sergio was arrested and charged with two counts of falsification and taken to Oneida County Jail in lieu of cash bail. of $ 6,000. Police said three other cell phone towers suffered power outages around the same time and that charges related to those outages were currently pending. Several agencies participated in the investigation of all outages.
Sergio was initially arrested in December 2020 for allegedly tampering with cell phone towers in Herkimer and Oneida counties and these cases are still pending.
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