Man arrested, then de-arrested, for charging iPhone on train

14 Jul 2015

British Transport police arrested a man in London after he was caught “abstracting electricity” by charging his iPhone on a train.

Robin Lee called the whole situation “ridiculous”, after a police community support officer called him out for using a socket that was off-limits for passengers.

Upon leaving the train, more officers were called over and Lee was handcuffed and taken to a British Transport Police station.

In a statement, British Transport police said they were called to a report of a “man becoming aggressive when challenged by a PCSO about his use of a plug socket onboard an Overground train.”

He was “arrested on suspicion of abstracting electricity” shortly after, before he was subsequently “de-arrested”, before he was arrested again, but this time for “unacceptable behaviour”, for which he has been reported.

According to this handy message board discussion about this subject in England, these sockets can result in power surges as trains head in and out of stops, so they are not for passengers’ use.

“I was just incredulous,” said Lee in the Evening Standard. “It was an over-zealous community support officer. They should never have arrested me, they knew it was ridiculous. The whole thing was just ridiculous.”

This isn’t the first time this month that some dodgy phone-charging decision-making lead to a bizarre story. In New York a man climbed onstage at a play to make use of a socket to charge his phone.

The socket, of course, was fake.

Main image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic