Police arrest homeless man for charging his cellphone

Darren Kersey 
By: Sarah Weiss 

(Scroll down for video) A homeless man who wanted to recharge his cellphone after his battery died ended up in jail, according to police reports.

The homeless man spent the night in a jail in southwest Florida after a police officer accused him of stealing by charging his cellphone in a public park.

An arrest report said that a police sergeant discovered Darren Kersey charging his cell phone Sunday night in a public picnic shelter in Gillespie Park. The Sergeant said that the "theft of public services in the city will not be tolerated during this bad economy" and then arrested him on a misdemeanor charge of theft of services.

Unable to post bail of $500, Kersey spent the night in jail. But the local newspaper reported that Kersey was released Monday morning after a judge dismissed the case, saying the sergeant lacked legal justification for the arrest.

It was also noted that the arrest of the man and spending even only the one night in jail ended up costing the city more than the electricity he used, according to news media reports.
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