Posted 5 years ago on Nov. 13, 2012, 8:04 a.m. EST by GirlFriday
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Darren Kersey, 28, was charged with theft of utilities after Sarasota Police Sgt. Anthony Frangioni spotted him charging his phone at about 9:20 p.m. Sunday. Unable to come up with the $500 bail for the misdemeanor, Kersey had no choice but to stay in jail.
The arrest threatens to add to a rolling battle between Sarasota and the American Civil Liberties Union, which have clashed over various homeless issues.
Maura “Cookie” Wood relies on the outlets to charge her electric wheelchair. She competes with others because the outlets are in use throughout most of the day. Wood said she is not worried that it may lead to her arrest.
Other homeless have similar stories.
“If I sit down, they come up, ask for ID and run my name,” said Fred Hall, 51, a North Carolina native. “If I spread a blanket and read a book, they arrest me for sleeping. It’s crazy. They do the weirdest things to us.”
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