Dog chews fiber optic in half, disrupts communications for weeks at a cost of around $7,000

Dog chews fiber optic in half, disrupts communications for weeks at a cost of around $7,000

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - For several weeks, communications in the Amite County Sheriff’s Department, jail, justice court and emergency management agency went to the dogs. Literally.

We went to Liberty on Thursday to find out who let their dogs out.

“Oh my God. Most godawful day there was,” said dispatcher Monica Wimberly. “We had no CAD (computer aided dispatch), we had no internet, we had no fax machine, and this went on for weeks.”

Emergency Management Agency Director Grant McCurley said the culprit was probably just dogs do.

“There were a couple of dogs that roamed the neighborhood and one of them decided to use our fiber optic cable as a chew toy and chewed the fiber optic in half,” McCurley said.

It was a few weeks ago that the unknown canine suspect took out communications for the Amite County Sheriff’s Department, the jail, the county EMA office and the justice court. He even eluded the security cameras.

“You could actually see it swaying in the camera over here as he was chewing on it,” he said. “We could not see the dog itself on camera conducting the damages to the fiber optic. We saw a little small dog that was always in a pair with that dog but we couldn’t see the actual dog itself doing the damages.”

For weeks, things had to be done by hand as the system was repaired to the tune of around $3,000. It was like going to the dark ages, Wimberly said.

“Well now you’ve got to think, ‘What’s that 10 code?’ Yeah,” she said.

After spending weeks trying to work the kinks out of the repaired system, the county had to install a new fiber optic system in the building for a total sum of $7,000 overall. McCurley said it was finally finished about a week and a half ago.

Meanwhile, one suspect with a similar crime signature has been ruled out. Hiram Sumrall said his dog has a record, but it wasn’t him.

Augustus McCray and his human, Sumrall, don’t live near the crime scene.

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