An irate Bronx resident was arrested after vandalizing two newly installed WiFi charging stations in Joyce Kilmer Park. The suspect became enraged when his new phone was stolen after he fell asleep on a bench (left) while it was being charged. When he awoke he discovered his phone had been stolen. The suspect went into a rage, knocking down two charging stations ripped out the wires. The charging station above was brought down inside the park near 161st Street, between Walton Avenue and the Grand Concourse. (Photos: NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge
By Geoffrey Croft
An irate cell phone user was caught vandalizing two newly installed WiFi charging stations in a Bronx park after his phone was stolen, NYC Park Advocates has learned.
The vandal went “crazy” and toppled over two 10-foot high AT&T WiFi and solar mobile charging kiosks, worth an estimated $ 9,800 dollars, in Joyce Kilmer Park. He also ripped out wires that connect to the stations.
The suspect became enraged after discovering his new phone had been stolen after he fell asleep on a near by bench as it was being charged. When he awoke he discovered his phone had been stolen.
“He was going crazy, going crazy,” a witness told Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers who were alerted to the incident by park patrons.
After getting a description of the suspect PEP officers went looking for him. By the time they arrived in the northern end of the park a few blocks away the suspect had knocked down another kiosk near the playground and NYPD were on the scene.
Police arrested Lonell Logan, 20, of the Bronx. He was arraigned on June 15 and released on his own recognizance.
The suspect ripped the platforms where the phone rest leaving exposed wires.
Logan was charged with criminal mischief and criminal trespass. He is due back in court tomorrow, June 24th.
A Temporary Order of Protection was issued for the suspect to stay away from a female witness according to the Bronx District Attorney’s office.
A law enforcement source described the suspect as, “really aggressive.”
Logan told officers that, “he was mad because someone had stolen his phone while he feel asleep on bench. He put his phone down to charge it and then went to the bench and feel asleep. He woke up and the phone wasn’t there,” a law enforcement source said.
The first incident occurred inside Joyce Kilmer Park, about 11:20am on Tuesday, June 14 near Walton Avenue and East 161st Street across the street from the Bronx Court House.
The second incident occured by the playground near 164th street.
The incident came two weeks after a press conference in the park with the Parks Commissioner, the Borough President and AT&T’s New York President to announce the telephone company’s renewed an agreement keep providing free Wi-Fi in 27 locations across the city for five more years.
Language printed on the stations warn users not to leave property unattended.
Wi-Fi in the Parks initiative allows all smartphone and tablet users to connect free of charge regardless of the wireless provider.
The weatherproof, but not vandal proof, solar-powered charging stations use the sun’s energy to charge its internal batteries, which is converted to power up phones and other devices even at night or on cloudy days. Each kiosk features cords to charge six devices at a time.
The charging stations are now in 21 city parks at 27 locations including 2 in Joyce Kilmer Park.
The suspect is charged with vanalizing two brand new WiFi charging stations including one located in the northern end of the park near 164th Street where police caught up with him.
(Photos: NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge
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