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Teen injured in substation mischief

A teenage boy was injured in a criminal mischief incident at an electrical substation on Tuesday night in Taylor Township, Centre County.
The Daily Herald reported yesterday that an 18-year-old Tyrone teen and two juveniles were accused in the criminal mischief case that caused damage to an electric substation, which led to hundreds losing power in Fowler Hollow area.
The incident happened when Matthew John Woomer allegedly drove two juveniles to the Fowler Hollow electric substation and dropped them off. The juveniles cut through a fence and entered the substation with the intent of stealing copper wire. One of the juveniles caused a short, which ignited a regulator. Two fuses were also destroyed. Police described the nature of the incident as causing or risking a catastrophe.
A spokesperson for Greensburg-based Allegheny Power, Mike Grandillo said one of the juveniles came into contact with a copper wire. Grandillo said he was not sure of the extent of the boy’s injury.
“Our thoughts are with the family and the injured boy,” said Grandillo.
He said his company’s preliminary figures showed the incident caused about $20,000 in damage.
“Our first goal is to get power restored then we look at the cost later,” said Grandillo.
He said his company also had the task of securing the substation. The incident caused 383 homes in the area to lose power. Grandillo said power went out at 10:22 on Tuesday night and it was restored to all the affected customers shortly before 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
Grandillo said his company wanted to get a safety message out in light of the incident.
“(You) should never enter a substation or any other electrical facility,” said Grandillo. “Contact with energized equipment can be fatal.”
He said the substation was posted with “danger-high voltage” and “no trespassing” signs.
Petitions alleging delinquency were filed against the juveniles in Centre County Court. A criminal complaint was filed against Woomer at Magisterial District Judge Allen Sinclair’s office in Philipsburg.
Grandillo said the incident was still under investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police and Allegheny Power was conducting an internal investigation. The boy’s age and residence and current condition were unknown.