Man Who Lost Power During Irene Charged With Threatening LIPA Officials

Walter Murphy

A Long Island resident who grew tired of waiting for his electricity to be restored after it was knocked out by Tropical Storm Irene, was arrested after making several threats towards the local utility company.

According to Nassau County Police, Walter Murphy, 46, of Hicksville telephoned the Nassau County Department of Emergency Management making numerous threats towards the Long Island Power Authority.

Murphy apparently was irate due to his home not having electricity for the past four days in wake of Irene, police said. He was arrested at his home Thursday following an investigation.

Murphy was charged with aggravated harassment and was arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead.

The arrest comes a day after LIPA officials acknowledge a lack of communication between the utility and its customers who remain without power due to the weekend storm. According to the utility, its still working on getting automated calls out customers affected by the outages, leaving them figuratively and literally in the dark.

LIPA's phone system was flooded with calls from frustrated customers inquiring about service earlier in the week. An estimated 165,000 customers remain without power as of Thursday afternoon, the utility said.