Linemen working to restore power in Louisiana following Hurricane Ida threatened at gunpoint

Lineman working on power line
Photo credit GettyImages

Working to restore power in Louisiana, where at one point more than half a million people didn't have electricity, one lineman was threatened at gunpoint.

Witnesses told detectives that a lineman working to restore power to Louisiana homes following the destruction from Hurricane Ida was harassed by a man who refused to slow down where crews were working near Galatas Road and LA Hwy 445 in Loranger, WWL-TV reported.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said that the man zoomed through the area waving his hands in the air around 6 p.m. on Friday.

The man was in a black Scion and returned to where the crews were working, aggressively swerving the vehicle toward a lineman before pulling up next to him.

In a statement, the sheriff's office identified the man as Kendrick James, a 35-year-old Tangipahoa Parish man. The statement went on to say he stopped by the lineman, rolled his window down, holding a handgun, threatening him while he was signaling drivers to slow down so his crew could work.

The linemen called 911 and reported the incident after James left the area they were working. Witnesses at the scene helped detectives identify James as the man making threats.

James was arrested at his home, according to a report from TPSO Chief of Operations James Travis. James has been charged with aggravated assault.

When explaining why he threatened him, Travis said that the gunman felt the linemen didn't have the authority to direct traffic while they were working.

"There is nothing more important than the safety of those who are working hard in the recovery process of our parish. Interfering with linemen trying to restore power in our parish will not be tolerated," Travis said in a report. "This event is a reminder of the many hazards faced by essential workers. Thank you for putting in the long hours to support our parish during this extremely difficult time."