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UI says workers are being harassed


During a 6 p.m. news briefing, United Illuminating senior vice president Tony Marone said workers in Bridgeport have reported being harassed by city residents while they’re trying to restore power to the city.

As of 6:45 p.m., Bridgeport had more than 23,000 UI customers without power, about 40 percent of the total customers in the city.

Marone said workers have been yelled at and have had eggs thrown at their trucks. He said one of the workers who was harassed is a lifelong Bridgeport resident who was working to restore power in his own city.

Gov. Dannel Malloy urged people to leave the UI workers alone and allow them to do their jobs.  He also reminded people that the workers didn’t cause the outages.

Marone responded to accusations made by Mayor Bill Finch that not enough resources were being used in the city. Finch said the city is being “shortchanged.”

Marone said they have restored power to thousands of customers over the past day, and have been making nothing short of a full effort in Bridgeport.

Marone said discussions were held with Bridgeport police about protection for crews, but was unsure if that occurred.

At an earlier news conference, held in Orange at the company’s HQ, CEO James Torgerson pleaded with people to stop throwing things at crews. “It’s disrespectful,” he said.

Categories: Weather
Tom Cleary

35 Responses

  1. Bridgeport Citizen ! says:

    lOl like i said no matter where you are from doesnt make you the person you are ! people from everywhere qo off when angry so please keep your comments to yourself what happen to ‘ if you dont have nothing nice to say dont say it at all ‘? i know your parents taught you that , umm RESPECT ! no it wasnt right what happen but your jst adding to the issue by being immature . and BTW BRIDGEPORT has the drug supple you people from FAIRFIELD TRUMBULL WEStPORT DARIEN & ETC come looking for lol im pretty sure your kind is very familiar w/ the EASTSIDE of BPT !

  2. Joanie says:

    It is my understanding that UI gave the city mayors the choice of who they thought needed electricity first. He had the choice and yet he has the nerve to come out and say UI just put the power on for the rich first, wasn’t that the mayor’s choice? I was born and raised in Bridgeport and I know the majority people are great there. This mayor incited these toughs to come out and show their true colors and they’ll probably vote for him again because he “stood up for them”, their loss. If the mayor was so concerned about these people not having flashlights then why didn’t he stand outside of city hall and hand them out, along with other supplies. The man is a putz. I’ve been out of power since last night and when it did come back on I realized how grateful I now am to have power. As for not being able to go to the bathroom and no water in Bridgeport, I thought they had city water and sewers. Don’t they work during storms? I have and well and therefore no water at all and foolishly no generator, but my family toughed it out and oh to have cold water to wash up with and SHAVE. Hang in there Bridgeport.

  3. Finch is a moron says:

    There is no excuse for this behavior, though keep in mind riots and people being stupid has been happening for years. Just look at NYC during the 1800s.

    In any case, Finch is a real idiot for putting the idea out that the utilities were shortchanging Bridgeport. No wonder Bridgeport’s finest elected him…

  4. B**** L**** says:

    Not for nothing, but all people from Bridgeport do is complain that they get a bad rep, and then they do something like this. So they should stop complaining and stop treating other people, especially ones who are trying to HELP them like garbage. Frustration is one thing, but childishness and stupidity are something else all together. They have no one to blame but themselves. UI can’t walk away, but the people aren’t helping themselves doing something like this.

  5. Jo Ann says:

    I am not a animal nor do I berate people trying to help me. I dont live in a toilet either. I personally thanked the UI people who restored my power. I was born here and I work here and pay my bills. How dare you speak for an entire community that you know nothing of. I saw my neighbors pulling together and helping each other out. Kids do stuff like this not adults sorry. Yeah Bridgeport has been thru some terrible times as of late. That is not all Bridgeport is about. If you think it is and have such strong views then do something about it instead of running your big mouth!

  6. Maria says:

    “Wow” people can be so cruel…

  7. Allie says:

    Amen to the posters above who have brought down all of you who have called Bridgeport a “toilet”, etc. You don’t live here, what do you know about it, except for the bad things that you read about it. I also live in the north end, I pay my mortgage, taxes and my bills (including UI) with my hard earned money. It wasn’t fun for the last 4 days to be in the dark freezing. It’s not fair to lump all the citizens of Brideport in the same category. The disgraceful people who threw eggs at these workers are definitely in the minority. Power was restored to my area last night and I can tell you that people were in the street cheering and saying thank you. I appreciate all the hard work that the linemen are doing. Don’t you dare put my family in that category with the few ignorant people who did this. I lived in Fairfield all my life and just recently moved to Bridgeport. Let me tell you that town is no paradise! Do not start using derogatory terms about a place you know nothing about! Bridgeport is not the “toilet” you call it.

  8. Lifelong Bpt resident says:

    One thing I cannot stand is ignorance! First, how you can label every single resident in Bridgeport an animal or a pig is beyond me! There are hasbeens in EVERY city/town in Connecticut!! It’s not where you live, it’s how you behave as a human!!

    Second, to those who harrassed the utility workers, shame on you!! Why don’t you go around the city and see if there are people who need help instead of acting like morons!! You are the reason that Bpt. has such a bad reputation!! I have lived here all my life (and am damn proud of it) but it’s people like you that bring us down!

    I still don’t have power and had a tree fall on my house but I’m SO thankful that I didn’t get hurt and haven’t lost a loved one like so many other people did with this storm! Get your priorities straight people!!!!!!!

    Lastly,I’d like to thank all the utility workers out there working day & night to help everyone get their power back!! When you come to MY neighborhood in Bridgeport, I promise I will not throw anything at you nor yell at any of you!!

  9. Von says:

    Granted, the egg-throwers are complete idiots–I mean, who complains about not having electricity & then pelts the very workers trying to restore power?

    HOWEVER…what I’m not going to sit here & allow these equally idiotic commentators to lump Bridgeport residents into one, stereotypical boat. Yes, I live in Bpt–and I’m proud of it, thank you. And guess what? I’m a hard-working, business-owning, taxpaying parent who cares about her community. What you’re saying, basically, is to pull UI out of Bridgeport because of the stupid actions of a minute FEW–and let the rest of us law-abiding city residents suffer–because of course, the surrounding towns are that much more worth it, huh? Oh, that’s right–according to you, though–folks like me don’t exist…because everyone (especially the ones who never even come here) just KNOW that ALL Bridgeport residents are a bunch of welfare-collecting, crime-on-the-brain “animals.”

    If that’s your stance, I’d say “takes one to know one” re. the “dumb animal” thing…but then that would be an insult to our furry friends.

  10. Nikki says:

    @Nicole….I will have you know that the PT and the Terrace’s power is down. We do not have sufficent police coverage out there at night. So we are suffering just like you.

  11. tony a says:

    what a bunch of idiots,,, UI dosent have to provide electricity to anyone,,,,having electricity is not a right,,,if u dont like UI go and make your own electricity,,,the power is out because of a hurricane,,, not because of UI,,,they want u to have eletricity because that is how they make money,,people are so ignorant like they are owed electricity,,,

  12. Bob says:

    UI should pull all the crews out of Bridgeport and then tell Finch they will be back when he shuts up and makes the city safe for the workers.

  13. Abraham says:

    I don’t think it is fair to genralize due to the actions of not even a hand full of people. If you think this cannot happen in your own towns, think again. I bet you have people that behave thesame way. If you think you live in a perfect town or city that is free of social problems then you must be living in a fantasy town or city. My advice to you is that respect the other people that live in Bridgeport and are law abiding citizens and don’t put out any garbage that comes to your limited brain cells.

  14. SAL says:

    This is awful. Workers are not to blame for storm damage. They are working hard to restore power. This shows how our society is disintegrating.

  15. nopower says:

    the residents are wrong for throwing eggs at the workers, but get serious. power went out monday, ny seaside park. they restored power at the university for the visitors of homeland security, but expect the residents in the same area to wait until monday to get their power back.

  16. RichardLV says:

    Maybe Marone can open up his house. I know 23,000 people who haven’t had a sh__, shower, or shave for 4 days (and counting), or a hot home cooked meal… Don’t kid yourself, Bridgeport was last on the list. Too many “other people” I guess…

  17. Nicole says:

    Not all of Bridgeport residents are animales. I live in the north end and I pay for my electricity, the state does not help me pay for any of my expenses. It’s sad how the ui can have power for the housing complexes like pt and the greens but the actual side of town who pays their hard earned cash has been working on 4 days with out power. I have a young child and my parents are elderly… You try waking up in a freezing cold house and taking a shower. We had to throw all of our food out in the fridge and the freezer. Why turn the east sides power on before us? I live close to Trumbull Fairfield line and they run off the same grid that I am on. We are getting upset, no one knows what’s going on. We did prepare for this storm but never thought it would go this far. Go ahead and single Bridgeport residents out as being hostel and unruly, you obviously have no clue. Not all of Bridgeport residents are poor and scum bags.

  18. Ray says:

    Pull the UI out of Bridgepit, send them to towns where they will be appreciated and not attacked by gutter trash animals.

  19. Judy Saunders says:

    Things like this cause me to be embarrassed to live in Bridgeport. Most of our residents are good people BUT there are a few, like those idiots throwing eggs, who help give Bridgeport the bad reputation it has.

  20. Throw This says:

    Please don’t throw things at the crews. They’re the real workers. Throw them at multi-millionaire Torgerson who won’t invest in enough crews to get the job done – even in his newly adopted suburban town of Orange where tonight, power remains out. Take it to the bank, Torgerson will be in Hartford seeking a tripple digit rate increase.

  21. Chris K. says:

    Not the workers fault. The companies still suck though. You want to waste the eggs… Hang around the headquarters locations and wait for the execs to drive in during the morning hours…

  22. Nancy says:

    And Bridgeport has any wonder why they are thought of as a worthless city, who will never get anywhere or really change for the better!

  23. Mike says:

    Just another example why the law abiding people fled the city. Whats left,free loaders on the government dole expecting people who jump for them. The bad outweighs the good in Bridgeport look at the crime rate and school system.

  24. Carmen says:

    that’s just wrong………..let them do there job! if they threw an egg at me I would pack my stuff up and leave……….let them suffer longer. you reap what you sew.

  25. Phineus says:

    How awful, they better watch that one of those cornfed good ole boys brought in from another state don’t put an a$$ whoopin on em. Mayor Finch should be on the radio criticizing these idiots like he was criticizing the utilities.

  26. Kim says:

    The UI should move on, and the heck with those people, they don’t pay for their electricity anyhow.

  27. Ray says:

    WOW! Really? It’s been a couple days, last yr during Irene there were people without poswer for WEEKS and you didn’t hear about them acting like “animals”…animals is too kind a word if you ask me. Even animals don’t act like that. I thought tragedy brought people together but in places like bridgeport it brings out the worst. I say SCREW Bri Po….they wanna make it too dangerous for workers to do their job, let em rot! So what their cold? Go to a dam shelter and be happy you have a home to go back to when power is restored there. These workers are out there away from their families risking their lives.

  28. hl says:

    not cool Bridgeport, but honestly, they voted in Malloy and will undoubtedly vote for Obama. what do you expect?

  29. JS Branford says:

    My dad lives on the Westend of Bpt (Fairfield Ave) and I had to take him out of there. Bring the National Guard into that area, too. Unfortunately, Dad can’t wait until he can go back to what he considers “home”. People need power down there – they’re frustrated and cold. To the residents of West End – you are only hurting your own neighborhoods by harassing these workers. Let them do their jobs!!

  30. martin rodriguez says:

    I agree the people in this city should not bother the working man out there trying to restore power. but when i called the emergency center a representative from the UI name Gary laughed when i mention that if i dont pay the bill my electricity will get turned off. hetold me i was right and started laughing.Also the UI posted tuesday that all customers power will be restored by night fall Tuesday.Last year CL&P fired their top people for making statements that they could not keepi think maybe the UI should do the same.

  31. JB says:

    If the area is hostile, move on, no UI worked should be injured while working in that very sad City.

  32. pete says:

    Hey Jim ,
    Your post is gospel !! I wouldnt want to offend any pigs by comparing them with the hundred million year throwbacks who threw the eggs.

  33. Madeline says:

    Wow this is unbelievable These workers are doing the best they can. People have to understand this was a major storm. @Jim no there are not animals. They may just be aggravated. Many people can’t afford to buy food daily. They need their electricity for medical reasons and don’t know where to turn to. I just wish people would understand these workers and applaud them and say thank you for what you are doing instead of throwing things at them.

  34. Scott says:

    This is such a disgusting thing to read. I hope the U.I. workers slow down thier efforts in that crime ridden toilet bowl city and focus thier efforts on the surrounding towns.

  35. Jim says:

    Damn animals……no wonder why Bpt has such a bad reputation.
    If I was a UI worker……I would walk away from BPT and let the pigs suffer