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Man explains why he went into high voltage area under Spokane sidewalk

SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane man is accused of crawling down into a high voltage area underneath a downtown sidewalk. 

The unusual call for help happened around 11:00 a.m. Monday. Police said a Century Link employee spotted a man, later identified as Casey Thompson, sneaking into a high voltage area underneath the sidewalk. 

Avista said there are electrical transformers located in the vault that the 22-year-old managed to climb down to, on the 500 block of W. Second Ave. 

Thompson spoke to KXLY from the Spokane County Jail and said he was trying to "fix an electronic" in the vault. He said he didn't know he wasn't supposed to go inside the vault. 

"It was open. It was open. It just flips right open," Thompson said. 

Avista issued a statement to KXLY that said the company's electric utility vaults are secured under an Avista owned master lock. The grates are about 250 pounds and the standard practice is to bolt them down.

Avista did not go on to say if there were any issues that allowed Thompson to gain entry into the vault. 

Spokane Police said they tried negotiating with him to come out, but he wasn't listening so they had to send officers in to pull him out. 

They had to cut power off temporarily, between Post and Division and Riverside to Third, to safely make the arrest. 

Thompson was booked into the Spokane County Jail for first degree malicious mischief. Police said when he was arrested, he had some brass threaded caps that Avista uses on their equipment. 


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