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East Village Super Held Time Warner Cable Hostage For 24 Hours

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]

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