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Forum Post: Homeless man arrested for charging phone in park

Posted 1 year ago on Nov. 13, 2012, 8:04 a.m. EST by GirlFriday (17588)
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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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[-] 2 points by zacherystaylor (243) 1 year ago

“Theft of city utilities will not be tolerated during this bad economy;” if you take fifty cents worth of electricity we will spend ten thousand dollars and more to hold you accountable as part of our fiscal conservation policy!!

Um OK I'm sure that is a great way to save money for the tax payers.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34635) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Addressing the issue of homelessness - for some that seems to be arresting someone with no place to go - because they have no place to go. For others it's - let us put you on a bus ( then you can be someone Else's problem ). This is so pathetic - this is so wrong - in a country as wealthy as the USA that there is no aid for the poor - that the poor should be left to die on the street.

Over 30 trillion dollars HOARDED/HIDDEN off shore. WTF is that all about? Why is that OK????

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

that's a world economy situation

we can't trade without a world wide currency


[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Disgusting. ACLU is a good advocate, They could use the help of an organized protest movement in support of homeless people.


[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Homelessness has been criminalized for a very long time under the term "Vagrancy". So like socialism, you are expected to produce for the economy. Unlike socialism, it doesn't guarantee a home, food, or any other resource. Ah, Umeriku

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

Sitting on a park bench, Kersey said Tuesday he believes his arrest was retaliatory because he took a photo of Frangioni as he was arresting another homeless man for smoking a cigarette in the park.

“I walked over to his car and took a picture of his license plate. He got angry and took me to jail,” Kersey said. “We have rights. This is a public park.”

Born and raised in Bradenton, Kersey said he was hired as a laborer at a flower shop just days before he was arrested. He was fired Monday when he did not show up for work because he was in jail.


Also, how to fix the economy for anyone concerned about the homeless: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/783/697/872/tell-the-1-how-they-can-help-the-economy/

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

1/3 of homeless in Clearwater are vets. What a great gov. Use em and abuse em. Then toss em out.

Its illegal to feed someone in Tampa too. How fucked up is that?

[-] 0 points by ZenDog (16272) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

The only solution to such issues is local organization dedicated to address the needs of the homeless population. Housing, substance abuse, mental health and veterans assistance are common needs among the homeless in the U.S.

A dedicated organization committed to addressing these needs can and often must work with local community leaders as they craft ongoing out reach designed to provide solutions. This process of community outreach, has the advantage of drawing in community volunteers, the development of relationships, community awareness and understanding; and has a tendency to tamp down on the discrimination that is so prevalent in the absence of this kind of community leadership.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17588) 1 year ago

You know what, Zen? I am over what we have as far as "local organizations". When they show up in the news it is about how they need stuff but that they have it under control. Usually brought to you by the same group of people that tell people not to give money to the homeless people because they will use it to do drugs. Instead, you are to donate it to the organization where most of the money is used for overhead.

In theory-many of the homeless shelters are supposed to be able to get those needed services to the homeless. However, the vast majority of those services have been cut or were non existent or have been denied to people for some 40 years.

I'm frustrated.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (16272) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

I hear your frustration, and I don't doubt that in many areas homeless advocacy becomes an end in itself, one designed to make everyone feel better and generate profit, rather than a means to actually provide solutions.

I worked at a homeless shelter for about three years in Burlington, and the organization I worked for was very committed to providing solutions. It was actually started by a Catholic nun, she retired not long after I started. I don't know what the ratio between donations and the value of assistance received actually is, but I would note that providing over night accommodations in a way that is safe and drug/alcohol free is neither easy nor cheap. Heat alone is expensive. The burn out rate is high among staff providing such services and occasionally the job can get a bit dicey.

COTS has done a fantastic job of attempting to bring together the various organizations that can and should be providing assistance - from mental health services, health and dental care, alcohol treatment, to assistance with long term housing working with land lords who are ammenable, to outreach with the City government and creating ways to both educate and involve the local community.

It's an amazing organization. Even so it does not provide a solution for everyone. Not everyone is willing to address alcohol or drug issues. Not everyone is willing to address mental health issues - and the mental health community all around the country seems in my view a bit confused themselves - but that is a whole other story.

I don't know what other communities are doing, or how well their efforts are working. What I do know is that I was fortunate enough to work at an organization that is most likely unrivaled, anywhere in the world, at what it does.

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 1 year ago

I've been homeless for years now and the only thing i feel like we need is our right to sleep. Saint Vincent De Paul will give you a sleeping bag and a clothing voucher for thrift stores. Wool is amazing, and i seriously have never felt better than i have been sleeping outside. But i don't have a "problem" with it, so i'm not homeless, just houseless.

Maybe a lot of people who become homeless are struggling with health, addictions or other reasons, and the prejudice they face serves to exacerbate their problems. I meet a lot of angry homeless people, some transformed into criminals by their experiences being incarcerated (learning to hate a system that treats them like garbage).

But aside from people having a hard time, i feel like if everyone had to be homeless for a few years we'd remember how easy life is and maybe stop being so afraid of it. They make so much money off people's desperation to not loose everything we've been made so absolutely to think that we need.

But yeah, i'm frustrated too. I understand why i get harassed for sleeping in the dunes, because if it were okey then the dunes would be full of the criminals they've created, but then if it were okey there might not be so many criminals. If i had to imagine a functional world it would be that compromise between technology and nature, when nature becomes part of life again and not just technology.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

I'm off the grid, but not homeless. Never homeless when you have a tent and bedroll.

I use one of these to charge my cell phone. http://youtu.be/YhmDJNWiZDQ

[-] 1 points by bullfrogma (448) 1 year ago

Aye, i got a job managing a resort for a few months. Saved up $11,000 over a summer by not paying rent and spent it mostly on high end camp gear and clothing from Filson. Got a Cannondale and a Wike trailer so i don't have to carry anything. Wish i could have a garden though, your set up sounds awesome. I have this USB rechargable flashlight and that Degen DE13 looks perfect, thanks.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

No worries. It's only 25$ delivered. LED torch works great too.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Very well said.

[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

I don't believe you.

[-] -2 points by DogBone (-201) 1 year ago

In the past four years, the obama admin has made 1,000's more homeless and he will continue his campaign to add more to the list in his next four years