A homeless man in Bangor, Maine was arrested last Saturday for charging his two cell phones in an outdoor electrical outlet. The 23 year old homeless man was charged with “theft of services.” The cop who arrested him stated he found a folding knife tucked underneath his shirt which most likely led him to spend some time in jail. I don’t know how big or small the knife was but I don’t think that is a reason for someone to go to jail. In many cases, people get a warning or have their knife taken away.
Since when has people been charged with “theft of services” for using outdoor electrical outlets. This is clearly one of those cops who doesn’t have anything to do that he is harrassing this homeless man and coming up with some bogus charges. I’m sure if it was a man in a business suit charging his cell phones, the cop would not have charged him with “theft of services.”
Homeless individuals like any one of us have cell phones whether pre paid or not to stay connected with family, friends, co-workers and their employers. People may say how can he be homeless and have 2 cell phones? What people don’t understand is that HOMELESS does not mean JOBLESS.
This is just another story of how homeless people are treated in this country. Homeless people are being treated like criminals simply for being down on their luck. We have seen this trend on a national level since the mid 90s at least. We have seen it with anti pandhandling laws, quality of life crimes, safer cities initiative in Los Angeles, etc. Things have gotten so bad that even feeding homeless and poor people is a crime.