Kentucky State Trooper First Chokes Man Then Arrests Him for Speaking Out In Public Meeting

Emotions for many are running high as water continues to run low for water customers in Martin County, Kentucky.

More shut-offs are happening Thursday evening, but some relief is on the way.

Video recorded by The Mountain Citizen shows a customer named Gary Hunt being escorted out of Wednesday night’s meeting of the Martin County Water District after some curse words were said directed at water officials.

Hunt is upset because of the water problems he deals with all year long.

While most had water restored Thursday afternoon, the faucets remained dry at his home off Cassel Branch Road.

“You turn the water on, right here is what you get. No water,” he demonstrates.

There’s just a few drops from the shower. He tells us it’s a problem five to six times a month, though it’s been problematic about half the 11 days so far of 2018.

His said the issues pop up no matter the weather.

“Summertime, wintertime, fall,” he said.

He’s also upset the water company wouldn’t fill his large tank this week, even if he paid for it, helping emotions boil over at the meeting when water officials said everyone is equal.

But Water District Business Manager Joe Hammond told us Hunt’s situation is difficult water-wise. He lives at the end of a holler, almost at the top of the hill.

He said Hunt’s pump which is designed to help suction the water up to his home doesn’t always work well to help their pump at the bottom.

Plus, every time a storm cuts power, it also cuts power to the pump.

“If there are power outages, yes. There is a problem there,” Hammond said.

When we asked, Hammond did not know why Hunt didn’t have water Thursday afternoon when most everyone else did.

He said he would look into it.

“Sure can, sure will.”

Hunt was not arrested Wednesday night, but was cited for menacing. It’s a misdemeanor charge with a court date attached.

But he’s not upset about that.

“When you are a grown man, you do grown up things,” he said. “You pay for what you do.”

He said even the fine is worth it because he was standing up for his family and his kids who need to be clean before he’s willing to send them to school.

“They ain’t going to run me nowhere. I’m too fat to run. I’m just tired of it.”

We followed up with Hammond Thursday evening, but he still didn’t have an answer for Hunt’s problem.

Hammond could tell us about two positive developments for customers system wide.

First, a water connection across the Tug Fork to Kermit should be complete Thursday evening, restoring water to people along state Route 292 around Lovely who have been without water for several days.

Second, installation on a new intake pump on the Tug Fork should be complete Friday, sending more water every minute to the treatment plant, increasing water pressure for all.

A boil water advisory remains in effect.