Westar contractor attacked for installing smart meter
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — A Reno County man is facing multiple criminal charges after officials say he tried to attack a worker who replaced the electrical meter on his home. It happened just before noon Thursday in the 5000 block of West Nickerson Boulevard.
Reno County Sheriff Capt. Steve Lutz says a man working as a contractor for Westar Energy was in the area changing out old electrical meters for new smart meters. He knocked on the door of the suspect, Kerry Getz, 62, but got no answer. He changed out Getz’s meter and put a flyer on his door explaining the work that had been done.
Lutz says Getz walked outside as the worker was leaving and demanded his old meter be put back on his home. The two men got into a verbal argument and Lutz says Getz threatened the worker.
The worker got into his truck, drove away and called Westar to report what had happened. Lutz says Getz got into his own vehicle, chased the worker down the street and blocked him from driving away.
Getz tried again to get his old meter back from the worker. Lutz say he kicked the truck and broke out some of the windows. The worker got out of the truck and Getz tried to run over him. The worker got out of the way in time and Getz rammed the truck with his vehicle multiple times.
The worker was able to get back into the damaged truck and drive away. Lutz says Getz chased after him and rammed into his truck a few more times, forcing him to drive into at ditch.
Deputies made contact with Getz and arrested him. He is facing charges of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and criminal damage to property. Getz has bonded out from jail.
The victim was not hurt.