CT landlord charged after turning off power - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

CT landlord charged after turning off power

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A Naugatuck landlord was arrested after shutting off the power to his tenant.

Alexander Oneschuk shares a home with his tenant, Jonas Barrocas, but he has an issue with the man living in his residence.

"He hasn't paid one month out of the three," Oneschuk said.

Oneschuk said he's owed more than $2,500 for three months of rent. However, Barrocas told Eyewitness News that he has evidence that proves he paid two of those months.

Barrocas said he's tired of having his electricity shut off, so this weekend he called police.

Police told Eyewitness News this weekend's call was the third time in the course of one week they've been at the same residence issues related to electricity.

After a conversation with the landlord, police said Oneschuk became belligerent and was later arrested. He was charged with violation of home health requirements and disorderly conduct. 

"On Saturday, when they began investigation, the power was actually off and they came out to find out the circuits in the box were actually manually turned off," Naugatuck Police Lt. Bryan Cammarata said

The local housing court said it is illegal in Connecticut to turn off a tenant's power for malicious reasons. Oneschuk said he's asked his tenant to leave, permanently.  

"I didn't see his car and I thought he was gone, so what I did was I shut off the electricity," Oneschuk said.

Oneschuk told Eyewitness News this has happened 10 times in three months and it's what happened next that led to the arrest.

"It is the fact that he turned off the power," Cammarata said. "It's the fact that he was going to re-turn it off again when the officers asked him to turn it back on and this is what had been going on for the last few days."

Barrocas told Eyewitness News he plans to leave the apartment at month's end.

According to the Waterbury Housing Court, landlords cannot turn off power in general with the only exception being a repair that needs to be made at the residence.

If the power is turned off, a tenant should call the local fire marshal who can help get power restored.

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