No. of Recommendations: 17
Sarasota, FL--a 28 y.o. temporarily homeless father of two just got a job a few days ago, relieved to find a source of income to try to help support his 2 kids. He got off his new job to go wherever "home" would be that night and stopped to charge his cell at a city park. The result was a trip to jail and $500 bail which he in no way could afford. He spent one night in the slam, and it was good-by for his forced no-show at the new job.

An officer arrested Darren Kersey on a misdemeanor charge of theft of utilities. The arresting sergeant said in the report that "theft of city utilities will not be tolerated during this bad economy....the use of the outlets are for permitted events." Michael Barfield, who chairs the Sarasota ACLU, said, "Ridiculous. It's just the epitome of ridiculous. There are no signs posted saying you can't charge your phone at the park, so to charge Mr. Kersey with a crime is mind-boggling. The city has free charging stations for the wealthy who drive electric vehicles at City Hall that anyone can plug into. But yet a person who is homeless can't plug in for a penny (if it costs that much) to charge their phone at a public facility?"

TECO Energy spokesperson Cherie Jacobs was asked what it costs to charge a cell phone. "Cell phone chargers use a small amount of electricity, even when they're not charging phones. They run about 7 cents a month."

A judge--unlike the arresting officer--saw no evil in this case and threw it out.

Bits of info from both:

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