An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment today charging a 42-year-old homeless man with stealing copper wire below the H-1 freeway viaduct near Honolulu Airport last week.
Julian Medina was in custody, unable to post $15,000 bail.
Police arrested Medina after a Hawaiian Telcom employee investigating last week’s telephone and Internet outage saw Medina and another man pulling on some cable on Jan. 23, Deputy City Prosecutor Kristen Yamamoto said Wednesday. She said the other man fled.
Yamamoto said Medina had 60 to 80 pounds of copper.
Hawaiian Telcom said 500 customers lost service for nearly 12 hours Jan. 23 and 24 after a fiber optic communication cable was maliciously cut under the viaduct near the airport.
Officials did not say if the copper theft contributed to the telecommunications outage.
It was the second mass outage for Hawaiian Telcom customers this month. A Jan. 15 fire near a homeless encampment in the same area burned cables and cut service to 25,000 homes and businesses.