Police in Sarasota, FL arrested a homeless man for plugging his cell phone into a charger at a public park shelter. He was charged with theft of public utilities. He wasn’t able to bond out (being homeless), but the judge found no probable cause and released him at his first appearance hearing the next day. In other news, 9 children at the ball park were arrested for the same offense for drinking out of a fountain. (Not really, but it’s about the legal equivalent.)
A local ACLU member claims it’s just the latest shot int he city’s “war on the homeless.” He makes an interesting point that the arresting officer is a sergeant, therefore a supervisor, so that suggests this wasn’t some rogue officer. A review of Sarasota’s arrest list from Monday reveals about a dozen homeless people arrested, most for petty charges such as trespassing, open container, and even smoking in a public park. I did not see any drinking fountain charges… yet.
The Monday arrests also reveal that prostitute Amber O’Brien was picked up again with a new paraphernalia charge. Who’s that, you ask? Check out the back story on her on Bill Warner’s blog. And more here.