New York

Spectrum Cable Employee Arrested in Vandalism That Wiped Out Service to 60,000 Customers in Queens

What to Know

  • Tuesday's outage is the second in less than two weeks for Queens Spectrum customers; the company didn't say how many users were affected
  • On June 26, vandals cut a fiber optic cable serving four major hubs, knocking out service to 60,000 customers
  • Police have not released details of their investigation into the vandalism

UPDATE: Charge Dropped Against Spectrum Cable Worker Arrested in Outage That Cut Service to 60K Customers in NYC

Cable company Spectrum says an employee has been arrested in the fiber optic cable vandalism that wiped out TV, internet and phone service for tens of thousands of customers in Queens last month. 

Michael Tolve was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of criminal mischief in connection with the June 26 vandalism that cut service to 60,000 Spectrum customers in Queens, police said. It's not clear if he's suspected in a similar outage Tuesday. 

Attorney information for Tolve wasn't immediately clear.

A Spectrum spokesman said in a statement Thursday, "It's disappointing that one of our employees would unlawfully sabotage the infrastructure we all work so hard to maintain and inconvenience our customers in this way." 

The spokesman said the vandalism "put our customers' well-being in jeopardy, cause local businesses to suffer and are a general inconvenience for all."  

Spectrum says police are continuing to investigate vandalism to its other facilities. 

In the June 26 incident, a fiber optic cable serving four major hubs was cut, causing an outage to Spectrum customers that started overnight and then spread across central Queens. Dozens of customers fumed on Twitter about the outage, with many complaining that it was affecting their businesses. 

It's not clear how many customers in Queens were affected in Tuesday's Spectrum outage. An arrest hasn't been made in that case. 

One student in Forest Hills told News 4 she's lost service at least four times in the last few months and it affected her ability to do school projects. Customers have begged for help all the way up to Mayor de Blasio and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. 

(Disclaimer: NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast, a competitor of Charter Spectrum.)

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