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Utility Workers Held At Gunpoint During Argument Over Bill

Last updated on Monday, September 19, 2011

(MARTINSVILLE) - A Morgan County man is arrested after holding utility workers at gunpoint during an argument over his water bill.

29-year-old Aaron Taylor, is facing two counts of criminal confinement with a deadly weapon, two counts of intimidation, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and pointing a loaded firearm. He was arrested Wednesday and taken to the Morgan County Jail where he is being held on a $10,000 bond.

Police say Taylor held four Morgan County Rural Water employees at gunpoint and fired a shot when they removed his water meter. Police say Taylor parked a trailer over the water meter so worker could not remove it, but when the workers moved the trailer, Taylor came out of his house with a shotgun and fired it into the ground.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Morgan County Sheriff's Department deputy Brad Cooley, four water company employees went to Taylor's home at 3325 Mount Olive Lane to remove the water meter.

Taylor had parked a trailer with the wheel over the cover of his water meter. The employee came to move the trailer, so they could remove the water meter.

Police say Taylor came out of his house with a shotgun and ordered the men to stop removing the meter. Taylor fired at least one shot into the ground.

When police arrived at Taylor's home, Taylor gave them the shotgun and told police he was unhappy they were shutting his water off.

Taylor informed the police that the water bill had been paid, and the meter should not be removed. Taylor says he is in a "bankruptcy situation" and his lawyer said the company could not turn off his water.

But water company employees have a different story. They say Taylor had till 9 a.m. to pay the water bill or the meter would be removed. They told police Taylor came out of the house with a shotgun and threatened to kill them and would not let them leave the property.

One employee taped the incident on his cell phone.

Police looked at the tape and saw Taylor holding the four men at gunpoint. Taylor, who is talking on a cell phone on the video, is heard telling someone to "pay the water bill before I end up killing one of these guys."

Police took Taylor's gun. The water bill was paid and the meter replaced.

Cooley informed Taylor that a report would be sent to the prosecutor's office and that charges may be filed against him. The case was filed Wednesday in Morgan County Superior Court II and a warrant for Taylor's arrest was issued.

The state has asked for a no-contact order barring Taylor from having contact with the four men. The order, if approved, will bar Taylor from having firearms, deadly weapons or ammunition in his possession.

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