60 on 6: Man causes enormous power outage back in 1995Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's the most notorious power outage in years in Fargo-Moorhead. That enormous power outage happened in 1995, when police say Michael Damron cut telephone lines as he tried to disable burglar alarms. It would be an event that paralyzed Fargo-Moorhead for days.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's the most notorious power outage in years in Fargo-Moorhead. That enormous power outage happened in 1995, when police say Michael Damron cut telephone lines as he tried to disable burglar alarms. It would be an event that paralyzed Fargo-Moorhead for days.
Gary Landsem - Moorhead Police: "It seems highly unlikely that it is a coincidental thing, so my opinion is somebody had to know what was going on."
Authorities say Damron planned to rob the Site on Sound audio business on main in Fargo, so to disable the alarms, he cut 19 Qwest phone cables. 20,000 customers lost phone service.
Larry Costello- Clay Sheriff- WDAY Archive: "If you have a Hawley number, you might be able to call the Hawley Fire Hall. If that doesn’t work, you’re going to have to get a neighbor or somebody over to the fire hall to let them know what’s going on.”
At the time authorities called it sabotage.
Vivian Dockter - US West: "This is one of the worst acts of vandalism that has ever happened around here, ever."
Phone company technicians worked around the clock in January temperatures.
US West WorkeR: "The thing I would ask him if they let us see him or talk to him is, “Why did you do it?’ because you’re just making life miserable for everybody."
For days, the vandalism put the brakes on business in town. No phone service meant an impact on 911, the homebound, banks, colleges.
Les Bakke – Moorhead State: "Our access to the internet is not available. Access to anything outside of MSU is actually down.”
The lottery; the courts.
Finally, police served a warrant on Michael Damron, but he escaped capture.
Michael Damron's Mother: "This is the United States of America, you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty."
He would be later caught in Iowa, bail set at a $1 million. At the time he denied any wrongdoing.
Micheal Damron - Fugitive: "If I would have did something like that, I would actually be sorry for that. I didn’t do that."
Damron would be sentenced in 1997, and was released in 2011. At one point he wrote a letter to a judge saying, upon his release, he planned to commit one evil act a month against the public.
We checked with local police today, and they tell us the last known home for Damron was Minneapolis.