Homeowner grabs bat when utility employee prepares to cut power - KCTV5

Police: Homeowner grabs bat when utility employee prepares to cut power

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OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

The Kansas City area got a respite from the triple-digit temperatures on Thursday and that let one power company begin to cut power to delinquent customers.

And that heated up an Olathe man.

Police told KCTV5 that the man grabbed his bat and was ready to attack a Westar employee who was about to cut off power. This occurred about 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

The utility company employee fled the scene and called police. The man never actually swung the bat.

"The homeowner was involved in a verbal disturbance. And the homeowner grabbed a bat and tried to approach the Westar Energy employee," Olathe Sgt. Grant Allen said. "There are utility easements that residents don't always understand. Utility companies do have the right to come on property.

The man, who didn't want his name used, said it wasn't a big deal. He said he was upset because he has three children who live inside the home. He said it was hot and extremely muggy on Thursday.

Missouri has rules that utility companies must follow on when they can cut power during cold and hot conditions. But Kansas doesn't have such restrictions.

Westar's policy is it won't cut someone off when the heat index is more than 105 degrees for the high or 80 degrees for the low.

"When it's 100 degrees, no one wants their electricity shut off and that's what led to this situation," Allen said.

He said these type of calls become common during extreme weather conditions. He suggested calling your utility company and working out a payment plan if you are behind on your bill.

"We want to avoid confrontation where anyone could get hurt in that situation," he said.

The man paid the bill and his power wasn't shut off. Police will forward their investigation to the Johnson County District Attorney's Office. The man could be charged with an aggravated assault charge, which is a felony.

KCP&L said it follows the Missouri rules in both Kansas and Missouri.

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