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.
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