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Cable Hassle Sullies Passover Feast

All Michelle Mallin and her fiancé wanted was a quiet Seder dinner on the first night of Passover.

But before the evening of April 16 was over, the police had been called, the neighbors were in the yard and the couple concluded they never wanted to deal with Comcast Corp. again.

The Lakewood, Colo., resident said she and 25 guests were about to sit down that night for their religious observance when there was a knock at the door. A Comcast contractor said he needed to check equipment in her yard.

"We don't even have cable," she said. "We've never had cable at this address. I showed him the [satellite] dish on the roof."

But the worker was insistent, twice mentioning pirated cable, Mallin said.

Police came

"His point was, he was coming in regardless. He knew I had guests, he could see the 25 people staring at him," she said. She told the man it was not a good time and told him to get off the property.

They tried sitting down again, but were interrupted by another rap at the door. This time it was the local police, called by the contractor to enforce his right to enter to access a pedestal at the rear of Mallin's property.

"She looked like she wanted to be anywhere but where she was," Mallin said of the officer.

The residents again explained that they were having a religious observance and the officer left the doorstep, according to Mallin. But they were disturbed for a third time, with the flustered officer explaining to Mallin that the cable worker had a right to access the equipment.

As she was talking to the officer, Mallin said, the cable contractor had already entered the backyard. That led to an argument with her fiancé that drew neighbors to the property.

OP: We're sorry

Jeannine Hansen, Comcast's executive director of public relations for the Colorado market, said: "We're sorry the family Seder was interrupted. We've been in contact with them and have apologized for the incident."

Comcast was further investigating the incident, she said.

Mallin confirmed that an executive had called and apologized. But evidently that will not be the end of the incident: She has a pedestal in her backyard that controls the flow of cable signals to several neighbors.

"I want that pedestal off my property," she said.