A Utica man has been arrested for allegedly entering Oneida County owned property so that he could disconnect the power to communications towers vital to Emergency Medical Services communications.

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol an individual entered the fenced area in which the communication towers were located around noon on Saturday and turned off the power to those towers. The two towers to which power was cut controls communications for City of Utica EMS and the Town of New Hartford EMS. Maciol says the investigation conducted by several agencies determined the power outage was an intentional act.

Maciol says that investigation determined 39-year-old Nathanial Sergio, who was also on "house arrest" at the time, was located in the restricted area with the intention of allegedly vandalizing the towers. Officials say they were able to determine Sergio's location due to the GPS ankle bracelet as a result of his house arrest. It was with the assistance of Herkimer County Probation that allowed police to determine Sergio's location, according to Maciol.

Following the power outage, Maciol says the ankle bracelet being worn by Sergio helped determine where he was driving following the outage and while on Oriskany Boulevard Sergio was stopped by police near the intersection of Oriskany Boulevard and Clinton Street around 3PM.

As a result of his actions, police say Sergio was arrested and charged with two counts of Felony Criminal Tampering and was transported to Oneida County Jail in lieu of $6,000 cash bail. Police say three other cell phone towers experienced power outages around the same time and charges related to those outages are currently pending. Several agencies assisted in the investigation into all of the outages.

Sergio was originally arrested in December 2020 for allegedly tampering with cell phone towers in Herkimer and Oneida Counties and those cases are still pending.

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