Property Owner Charged With Trapping Phone Man In Airtight Vault In Parking Dispute

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(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) _ The owner of a Westborough self-storage company is facing charges for allegedly trapping a Verizon worker in an airtight underground vault because he was livid the worker had parked on his grass.

Howard Cook was not arrested, but will be summoned to court to face charges including kidnapping and larceny in connection with the incident Monday.

The Verizon worker, 45-year-old Michael Hathaway, was doing work in the underground electrical vault that services a nearby industrial park when Cook allegedly closed the hatch, and placed two 10-pound rocks on it.
Hathaway called 911. He was rescued by police about 10 minutes later.

Police say when the hatch is closed, the ventilation system shuts off and the vault becomes airtight.

The 71-year-old Cook says the whole situation was blown out of proportion.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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