A father in Chamblee, Georgia was arrested in November for plugging in his Nissan Leaf  at his son’s school while the 11-year-old played tennis. Kaveh Kamooneh arrived early on a Saturday morning and, since the building and lot were empty, he plugged his car into an exterior wall socket for 20 minutes without asking for permission. An officer soon appeared, and told Kahmooneh that he was being charged with theft for using the school’s electricity. The total value of the power that Kamnooneh used? About 5 cents.

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Photo © Myrtle Beach The Digitel

The officer eventually let Kamooneh go, but immediately went back to the station to file a police report. A warrant was issued for Kamooneh’s arrest, and 11 days later, the police showed up at his house to take him into custody, without even asking the school district if it was interested in prosecuting the case. Altogether, he ended up spending about 15 hours in jail for charging his car so he could run errands after tennis practice.

Given that most US cities don’t exactly have designated electric vehicle charging stations set up, it’s not clear what a driver in need of a little boost is supposed to do when they need power to get home. If he’d plugged his laptop or cell phone in behind the school, it’s unlikely law enforcement would have cared — so why are electric cars different? Kahmooneh has vowed to fight the charges. Electric car owners everywhere should pay close attention to the verdict in this case.

Via 11Alive

Lead photo © Nic McPhee