Fla. homeless man arrested for charging phone in park, accused of theft

The F-Origin handset was debuted by Finnish company F-Origin Ltd. at DEMOmobile. The software and engineering inside tackle the vexing problem of viewing Web pages and other big files on a cell phone screen without too much shrinkage. To scroll up and down or across a page on the virtual display you simply tilt the phone. (AP Photo by Frank Bajak)
Not everyone can charge a cell phone at home - a Fla. homeless man was recently arrested for charging his phone at a public park.
AP Photo/Frank Bajak

(CBS/AP) SARASOTA, Fla. - A homeless man spent the night in a Florida jail after a police officer arrested him for charging his cell phone at a public park, calling the act theft.

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 in Sarasota County.

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.