UPDATE: A six-hour power outage in western Little Rock this morning is being linked by police to a woman’s attempt to escape a rapist in a power substation, where she was shocked and burned by touching a live current.
First today, Entergy provided this explanation for a widespread power outage on a dry, calm weather day in western Little Rock early this morning, an interruption for 8,000 customers that lasted as long as six hours.
About 8,000 customers in west Little Rock lost power at 3:30 this morning. The outage was the result of an unauthorized person entering the substation on Kanis Road near Chenal Parkway and making contact with energized equipment. One person was injured in the substation and was transported to a local hospital. Technicians repaired the damage and had all customers back on by 9:30 a.m. We are working with local law enforcement on the case. We apologize for the inconvenience.
UPDATE: This is worse than it first appeared. I inquired of police about the unauthorized entry. The Little Rock police provided a report that indicates the unauthorized entry was by a women attempting to flee a sexual assailant.
A police report on a call before 4 a.m. at 17625 Chenal says that a McDonald’s employee directed them to the victim, a 24-year-old woman suffering burns “all over.” She said she’d been assaulted and ran from the assailant, then climbed a power tower at 17316 Kanis Road to get away. She touched a live wire and was severely burned and that apparently touched off the power failure.
She described for police a suspect, perhaps a man who works at a Walmart at Cantrell and Chenal. Efforts to locate him and his car immediately were unsuccessful. She said he wore a Walmart T-shirt and she’d encountered him at the store before.
The victim told police that she’d walked to the Walmart to use a phone to call her boyfriend. She said she’d met the suspect at Walmart before and he’d given her rides to her boyfriend’s house before. She said they were driving on Chenal zParkway when he pulled a pistol, pointed it at her head and said he’d kill her if she didn’t give him oral sex.
The victim said the suspect “told her he was doing this as a payback for all of the things her people had done to his people for centuries.” She complied with his demand, she said. But when the car stopped at Kanis and Chenal, she got out and ran toward the power station. The suspect followed her and stopped in front of the power station. She climbed the fence, topped with barbed wire.
She climbed a tower, then was shocked and thrown from the tower. She then ran to the business about a half-mile away to seek help. Evidence was gathered from the victim and at the scene.
I don’t have an immediate report on the victim’s condition. She was taken to the Children’s Hospital burns unit.