Homeowner confronts CenturyLink crew, leads to aggressive 911 call

Published: Jan. 22, 2020 at 9:49 PM CST
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Strangers in an Omaha backyard led to an angry confrontation with a homeowner and then a call to police.

The incident raises questions about utility subcontractors going on private property to make repairs.

On a Sunday morning 81-year-old, Reid Kenedy spotted three strangers on his side yard about to come through the gate.

Kenedy said, "I had no idea who they were or where they were from."

They were CenturyLink contractors from Tennessee who needed to cross Kenedy's backyard for maintenance work online and pole standing in public utility right of way.

Kenedy said, "I didn't feel they had the right to come on to their easement unless they had proper identification, which they did not have.”

The crew hung a notice on the front door and the Kenedy's dog alerted Sheilah.

Sheilah said, "They were here within 15 minutes of putting that door hanger-on."

Reid stopped them in their tracks so one of the crew called 911.

A 911 call said, "We gave them a door tag and told him we had a five-foot right of way under that line. But he said if we get in his back yard he's going to get his gun out."

911 operator: "ok you didn't see a gun yet did you."

Contractor: "no, no sir."

Reid Kenedy said, "I said you're lucky I didn't bring my trusty shotgun out here. I don't like people trespassing on my property without my permission.

Then the homeowner called 911.

911 call: "I don't want them on my property without some kind of a city authority… hey get that crap off my fence, get it the hell out of here until we get this straightened out. I don't even know who you are."

Operator: "Don't have your shotgun out ok."

Kenedy: "I won't.”

A CenturyLink email states "Typically our contractors have a conversation before entering a yard but the resident’s aggressive nature precluded that. Demand for higher speeds have been so strong we are doing limited installs on Sundays. We do not require our contractors to have CenturyLink signs on their vehicles.

Reid says if those CenturyLink contractors return and he recognizes them as the same workers he'll welcome them on his yard. But he'll ask for ID if it's a new crew he doesn't know.

Kenedy said, “if you are going to have these people do this they should be credentialed so the homeowner can know he's safe and they're not marauders."

Two Omaha police officers responded and talked to the homeowner and contractors. No report on the incident was filed.