Homeless man charges his phone in the park and gets busted

Homeless man charges his phone in the park and gets busted
Darren Kersey, 28, is homeless. But last Sunday, Kersey had a home for the night-a jail in Sarasota. He wound up at that location when he was spotted by Sarasota Police Sgt. Anthony Frangioni charging his cellphone at a public picnic shelter at the city's Gillespie Park. In his report, Sgt. Frangioni, who has put in 14 years with the Sarasota Police Department wrote "theft of city utilities will not be tolerated during this bad economy." He also admonished the man and told him to charge his phone at local shelters.

While it is not known what model phone Kersey has, it only takes all of 41 cents in electricity to charge an Apple iPhone for a year. It costs many times that figure to house a man in jail for a night and prosecute him. While that makes all the sense in the world, the judge threw out the case on Monday morning for a different reason saying that the office had no justification to make the arrest in the first place.

By Monday morning, there were eight homeless people in the park, including two who were charging their phones in the same location where Kersey was arrested. We guess that John Lennon had it right when he sang "Power to the People".

source: HeraldTribune via Gizmodo

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60 Comments

1. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Where exactly do homeless people come from? Are they people who lost their jobs, money, house and everything they own?

4. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

yes they have lost everything they own, the situation in america pretty much sucks. i see people everyday without homes, i myself almost was at one point because my dad was out of a job for 2 months

28. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

My heart goes out to you, buddy. I've been there myself as a kid. Being involved in law enforcement on a part time basis, I must say that for an officer to make such an arrest is beyond prepostorous.

42. metalpoet unregistered

I was homeless for three weeks before an old friend housed me for couple months

11. Cynipap999

Posts: 138; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

Since it takes all of .41¢ to charge an iPhone for a whole year, my guess is they become homeless after having to pay their exorbitant iPhone bills for actual service. In a way I don't blame the officer. Think about it, with all those people who have iPhones: if they all charged their iPhones in city parks it would completely bankrupt local municipalities.

15. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

do you realize how many people would have to charge their phones to put the city out of business? You'd need thousands of outlets.. lol How about the city put in phone charging stations like many airports have.. and say.. the Mayor skip ONE meal at his/her fancy restaurants. That alone would pay for phone charging for many many people for a long time. You also can't really bag on people who hang onto their phones either when they become homeless. The are regular people like us who have had a string of bad luck as is often the case lately. In losing most everything, that may be their only way to keep in touch with friends and family.. The arresting officer should be ashamed for himself for making an arrest for this. perhaps a small citation.. but an arrest? That's ridiculous.

25. crankyd00d

Posts: 191; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

It's not that simple. If you let one go you have to let them all go, you can't pick favorites if you do that kind of work, have to try to be fair with everyone. I deal with this kind of situation everyday at work, if you give special treatment to one customer, you better be ready to do them same with every single one of them, if you care about fairness at all of course, most people say they do but really do not.

58. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

well my thing is what if this was the officer & there were no outlets around & he needed to charge his phone...would he have used a city outlet. what if it was an non-work related emergency. we all know he would have used it if he had no other option...so to make an arrest b/c it was someone else isn't really the definition of fairness. the man had no other reasonable option & he just wanted to charge his phone. just shows how cold-hearted people can be to strangers.

36. Schuler2828

Posts: 59; Member since: Jul 04, 2012

That's total bulls**t! If they can't charge there phones there then there's no point in having an outlet there! Like 5 people charging there phone every year is gonna ruin our country! Government ever heard of helping the people instead of taking away there right to charge there phone?

37. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

I hope someone puts a power strip there so then they call can get a charge. Never know when they might need the phone, either for emergency or maybe for a job interview.

62. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Amen, McLTE. As an example, the mayor of my medium sized town in CA only eats at five star restaurants... But by all means, arrest the homeless for using public oulets to charge their phones!!!

26. ibap

Posts: 867; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

.41¢ is less than half a cent. You meant $0.41 - and while I'm not at all an iPhone fan, at least get your facts right, or you'll be homeless because you've lost your job due to cluelessness.

49. darkkjedii

Posts: 31269; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I figured some one would post something clueless, and u did it. Totally uncalled for statement.

16. ltavaress

Posts: 31; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

here in Brazil they come from other homeless people who breed

29. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

And as a Brazilian by birth, I say that you should be ashamed of having said such an ignorant thing. Animals breed, not people. As a kid I remember seeing poor homeless kids, as young as two freezing in the streets. Shame on you,man.

43. meowcenary

Posts: 187; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

We are animals as well or have you forgottern the evolution of H.sapiens. Sex is a part of breeding. Unless you have forgotten because we climbed to the top of the food chain. Nothing can hurts with our instruments of destruction and we H.sapiens have destroyed other floa, fauna, and hominid groups,

35. Republican

Posts: 99; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

That happens a lot in the third world, such as Brazil. The homeless must be locked up and made to work. They are an eye sore in otherwise good shopping districts.

38. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

They're human beings, just like myself and, presumably, you. Have some compassion. You never know when it may be your turn. Yes, they can be put to work and earn their keep, but to say they must be locked up and essentially enslaved and that they're an eyesore is an unkindness and very narrow-minded.

50. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Your right, you know the all saying, when your neighbor is unemployed is a recession, when you are the one unemployed is a depression.

63. ltavaress

Posts: 31; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

wow I apologize for this stupid comment I made 4 years ago. Dunno what was going on in my head

46. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Drugs, drinking problems, they lose their jobs, homes, friends, families, etc etc. Honestly most homeless person are homeless because they are addicts and it's very sad.

51. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Not true, kid get your facts correct; you have better stick with mobile phones and let the adult handle adults problems. The biggest causes of homelessness are: Lack of affordable housing; Unemployment; and poverty. Yes, for some it is substance abuse, as well as mental illness. You also encounter a spike after military personnel come back from a war, for abivious reasons.

2. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Anthony Frangioni should leave the man alone! He's just charging a phone...If you want to make some contributions to the bad economy, make a start from your home, not with the power you have when you work. J€RK!!

19. thelegend6657 unregistered

I hate cops because of big bully cops like him

30. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Don't generalize. Just remember, who will come to your rescue if you ever need to dial 911 one day?

39. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Agreed, charging a phone isn't the same as trying to run a house or electric-car off the city's utilities.

3. PhoneAddiction

Posts: 79; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're homeless, you're not supposed to be able to afford a phone right?

5. TheRetroReplay

Posts: 256; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

He probably had it before he was homeless

7. mozes316

Posts: 144; Member since: Sep 30, 2011

Nah, a lot of phone bills are much lower than a mortgage these days.

20. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

School is now in session.. Homeless = Not having a home This does not mean you don't own a car.. or have a job, or a few other necessities. This does mean that you don't have a HOME for whatever reason. Now you could argue that keeping a smart phone isn't the smartest thing when trying to get back on your feet.. but the article also doesn't say that the guy was charging his iPhone or GSIII.. he could very well have been charging a pay as you go dumb phone from walmart.

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