Homeless man jailed after charging cellphone

Published On: Nov 13 2012 11:28:19 AM EST
SARASOTA, Fla. -

A homeless man spent the night in a southwest Florida jail after a police officer accused him of stealing by charging his cell phone at a public park.

An arrest report says that a Sarasota police sergeant spotted 28-year-old Darren Kersey charging his phone Sunday evening in a public picnic shelter at Gillespie Park. The sergeant told Kersey that the "theft of city utilities will not be tolerated during this bad economy" and then arrested him on a misdemeanor charge of theft of utilities.

Unable to pay the $500 bond, Kersey spent the night in jail. But the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Kersey was released Monday morning after a judge threw the case out, saying the sergeant lacked the legal justification to make the arrest.

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