East Village Super Held Time Warner Cable Hostage For 24 Hours

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A very different hostage situation.
EV Grieve had a bizarre story yesterday about a crooked super in the East Village who's been holding a cable box hostage. And not just any cable box, but a node that controls the cable and internet for multiple buildings in the East Village. The super was allegedly not allowing Time Warner to get to the basement of his building and service the box because he wanted free cable, leaving an area of the EV without cable or Internet for 24 hours.

From local blog Adam's Life:

The super of the building, according to the service rep, REFUSES TO LET TIME WARNER INSIDE.

"Why is he refusing?" I asked.

"He wants free cable," the rep responded.

Apparently, Time Warner has tried to reason with the man, but he refuses to budge. Today, he's refused to answer the door or his phone. He's cut off all communication.

"It's a very unusual situation," the rep said.

We spoke with Adam Hunter of Adam's Life, who says that the Time Warner rep gave him the address of the building on Second Avenue. We got our hands on the number of the super for the building, though he hung up on us pretty much right away. We doubt he'll be talking much about it.

The cable and Internet went back on yesterday afternoon. Bobby Amirshahi, a Time Warner Cable spokesman, confirmed the story. He said that "it does appear that we had an issue with accessing the building where one of our nodes is located." He wouldn't confirm the address of the building.

"We did have to remind the landlord of city ordinance that requires us to have 24/7 access to our infrastructure," he said. He described the incident as "highly unusual."

Update 1:32 p.m.: We had heard reports of other outages in the East Village earlier. Bobby Amirshahi just got back to us and said that "there is one or more node in that area without service" and that they "don't know yet if it's related to yesterday's in the East Village."

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.


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17 comments
DantePD
DantePD

Just have TWC release the landlord's name and address, let the village solve the problem. And by that, I mean let the prick live in fear of being lynched.

Kevin
Kevin

Update from TWC on Twitter.

"Fiber near Baxter & Grand melted due to fire. New fiber being installed. Expect to see all nodes back online by end of day today."

Rob
Rob

How convenient that they actually have an excuse today.  It has been out on E 6th st since Monday.  Willing to bet that whatever issue the East Village is experiencing will not be resolved once they finish the Baxter & Grand installation.

TheVillager
TheVillager

2nd and B still out. WTF this is the 3rd day.

MelissaonE2
MelissaonE2

Mine has been out all morning. I think there are still issues.

Ryan
Ryan

My cable went out this morning, but worked fine last night.

mickywu
mickywu

I live at st marks and 3rd and cable and internet have currently just been cut off...is anyone else having this problem?

Kevin
Kevin

Yeah, mine is still down (6th and A). Going on 4 days now. I can understand them not being able to provide and ETA. I used to work in IT and sometimes, when shit goes down, you just don't know how long it will take to fix. What I DON'T understand is the complete lack of communication as to WHY the network is down. I know in the end, knowing why doesn't actually fix anything. But communicating with your customers is so much better than zero communication and having your customers guessing as to what the hell is going on.

CB
CB

I live between 5th and 6th on A and have been without service for several days now. The fact that we can't even speak to a customer service representative about it is infuriating and insulting. Cannot wait for the day that Verizon Fios becomes available here--Time Warner's service and customer service are piss poor. Can we get a Twitter uprising going over this?

Alexander
Alexander

That is so...weird.  At the end of the day, even though they have the right to get in the building, they don't have the right to break in either, so they were at some sort of strange impasse.  What's interesting is that there's probably very little to charge this person with.  After all, he didn't technically steal anything.  He just broke an ordinance about access to the building, which is probably a fine at most.

Kevin
Kevin

I live on 6th and A and my cable is STILL OUT. What gives?

Pccjamie
Pccjamie

ME TOO! Im a freelancer. I need this back on!!

Suzinne751
Suzinne751

People feel entitled to free cable that is so true.  My ex-landlord was tapping into my cable, so not only were they getting a big fat rent, they were sucking off our cable internet connection.  

661 59th street, y'all Brooklyn - BEWARE!

Serg
Serg

This happens more often than people may realize. They don't just do it to cable companies but also to phone & other utilities. When they buy the property there is a clause in the deed about easements & right of way access. Most of them state if they do anything to prevent access they can be fined or sued for the amount of losses incurred. Though rare some cities may use eminent domain if it gets bad & interferes with saftey & commerece which the super is since twc carries phone & internet. It's about time this is brought to light.

Mattan Ingram
Mattan Ingram

So that's why my cable was off. I thought the gunfire the previous night had hit an important node or something.

Screw TWC's monopoly over the East Village though. I want Verizon FiOS already. Better service for a lower price.

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