Homeless Guy Arrested For Charging His Phone In A Park

When Darren Kersey plugged his mobile phone charger into the power supply of a picnic shelter in Gillespie Park, Sarasota, all he wanted was a little boost of his battery level. He certainly didn't bank on getting arrested and spending the night in a cell. But that's exactly what happened.

Police arrested Kersey, charging him with "theft of utilities", after they spotted him charging his phone in the park last Sunday. Unable to raise the $US500 bail asked of him, he had no option but to spend the night in jail.

In a subsequent police report, reports the Herald Trubune, Sgt. Anthony Frangioni wrote that "theft of city utilities will not be tolerated during this bad economy." This might be a good time to point out that it only costs 41 cents to charge an iPhone for a whole year. (For the record, it's not clear what kind of phone Kersey was charging.)

It seems unlikely, then, that Kersey's sneaky little charge was costing the city a great deal -- which is why, on the following Monday morning, Circuit Judge Charles Williams threw the case out because Frangioni lacked any legal justification to make the arrest.

For once, justice is served. [Herald Tribune via Boing Boing]

Image by Digitalnative under Creative Commons license



    Well... Fragioni is an idiot...

      Frangioni should reimburse the city the cost of the arrest. Such blatant waste of tax payers money in such a bad economy will not be tolerated.

        He should be fired.... he just arrested a man and IMPRISONED him for charging a phone!

    Looks like arresting/taking it to court ended up costing the system more.

    What about the night he had to spend in jail, just to be served, he should be compensated.

      Well, think about it more positively, at least he was sleeping under a roof instead of outside?

        Maybe he wanted to have the freedom to choose where he slept?

        There's nothing positive about a jail cell. Nothing.

        Yeah exactly deekei. you see it on tv all the time. Homeless people being put on charges that never stick so they can get a hot shower, a feed and a bed. Obviously the media couldn't really care to dig deeper

    So homeless guy got to charge his phone and got a free nights accommodation, sounds like a win to me.

    Last edited 23/11/12 5:04 pm

    America, The land of the free and the home of the brave... God bless their wonderful country.

      Please tel me this is just a joke and you don't actually believe the words you've typed.

        I thought it was clear that it was a joke, obviously not though.

          the 'r' obviously stands for retard in this case.

          Wasn't it the land of the free and the home of the whopper?

            It's actually land of the fee and home of the whopper.

          I'm just use to seeing Americans sprout off that bullshit and sincerely mean it.
          And nothing is obvious on the Internet ;)

    Misleading picture..that's an iphone charger. Unless its a hobo with an iphone.

      "(For the record, it’s not clear what kind of phone Kersey was charging.)"

        For the record I was being sarcastic...

    *Stands and applauds Sgt. Anthony Frangioni for his outstanding community policing*


    Anyone else find it somewhat odd that a homeless guy has a mobile phone (and presumably some kind of mobile plan) in the first place?

    Last edited 23/11/12 6:29 pm

      @whitepointer, a mobile phone is cheap as chips these days. For a homeless person (and not all homeless people necessarily lack the means to have a home, if that makes sense) it would be a standard investment. Without a phone it is pretty hard to get a job.

      Not really, the phones themselves can go as low as $40 for a basic featurephone. Homeless people may find that the ability to communicte with others quickly pays itself off in terms of opportunity-finding.

        +1, phone or laptop is pretty much the number one thing to have if you're homeless these days and have any interest in actually trying to help yourself. Odd as it may seem at first glance, logically it's 100% legit.

      Judgmental much?
      Sad to say, I have been homeless after my house burned down. I couch surfed and slept in my car for six months. At that time, my car, my mobile phone and a few clothes was all I owned, because that is what I had with me on the night of the fire.

    Source article says he found the iPhone in a bar, like everyone else who has one.

      No it doesn't.

      Specially the ones that haven't been released yet.

        haha I get it cause the thing and the other thing haha you guys are so funny

    Police don't just give out free accommodation and meals, unless they're detained. He probably did him a favor!

    If a societies worth can be judged by how it treats it's weakest and most vulnerable members, this doesn't say much for the United States.

    2 things you need to remember if you're an American:

    1. Don't get sick.
    2. Don't lose your job.

    Or you will be joining this gentleman, you would be amazed how easily it can happen.

    Last edited 23/11/12 9:15 pm

    At least the homeless guy got a night in a warm room with good food.

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