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 jail cell.

But that's 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 $500 (around £315) 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 (around 30p) to charge an iPhone for a whole year in the US. (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 Monday morning, Circuit Judge Charles Williams threw the case out because Frangioni lacked any legal justification to make the arrest. For once, justice is served. [Herald Tribune via Boing Boing]

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