Amerikanske Kaveh Kamooneh ble lagt i jern for å ha stjålet strøm – for fem cent – til sin Nissan LEAF. Saken har selvsagt skapt masse oppstyr.
LEAF-ladingen skjedde i byen Chamblee i delstaten Georgia, der Kamooneh angivelig hadde kjørt til sin 11-årige sønn til tennistrening på Chamblee Middle School. Her tok Kamooneh seg friheten å stikke ladekabelen sin i en vanlig kontakt på veggen. Etter kort tid dukket det opp en politipatrulje.
– Politimannen sa at jeg var mistenkt for tyveri, fordi jeg stjal strøm fra skolen, sier Kamooneh til tv-kanalen 11Alive.
Da hadde ladingen pågått i rundt 20 minutter, tilsvarende omtrent fem cent. Dette anslaget støttes av Don Francis i Clean Cities Atlanta, en lokal forening som jobber for elbilsaken.
– Jeg er ikke sikker på hvor mye strøm han stjal. Men det betyr ingenting. Han brøt loven, og stjal noe som ikke var hans, uttaler Ernesto Ford i det lokale politiet til tv-kanalen.
Arrestert 11 dager senere
Ford mener politibetjenten burde ha arrestert Kamooneh på stedet. I stedet ble det skrevet en rapport på hendelsen. 11 dager senere kom to politibetjenter på døra til Kamooneh. Der ble han arrestert, foran hele familien. Dette skjedde etter at politiet hadde undersøkt om Kamooneh hadde tillatelse til å lade på skolen. Ford uttaler at skolen ikke ble forespurt om de ønsket å anmelde det angivelige tyveriet. Etter arrestasjonen tilbrakte Kamooneh mer enn 15 timer i det lokale fengselet.
LEAF-eier Kamooneh erkjenner at han ikke spurte noen om lov til å lade.
– Da vi kom dit, var det ingen der. Dette var en lørdagsmorgen, sier han, mens politiets Ernesto Ford står på sitt: «Et tyveri er et tyveri». Han ville gjennomført arrestasjonen på nytt – til tross for all viraken saken har skapt:
– Absolutt, svarer han.
Onsdag kveld uttalte DeKalb County Schools talsmann Quinn Hudson at «skolesystemet har samarbeidet med politiet under etterforskningen, og at det vil fortsette å gjøre det». Samme kveld gikk den lokale politisjefen Marc Johnson ut med en offisiell uttalelse (gjengitt på engelsk under videoen).
Slik ser politiet på saken
«We received a 911 call advising that someone was plugged into the power outlet behind the middle school. The responding officer located the vehicle in the rear of the building at the kitchen loading dock up against the wall with a cord run to an outlet. The officer spent some time trying to determine whose vehicle it was. It was unlocked and he eventually began looking through the interior after verifying it did not belong to the school system.
The officer, his marked patrol vehicle and the electric vehicle were all in clear view of the tennis courts. Eventually, a man on the courts told the officer that the man playing tennis with him owned the vehicle. The officer went to the courts and interviewed the vehicle owner. The officer’s initial incident report gives a good indication of how difficult and argumentative the individual was to deal with. He made no attempt to apologize or simply say oops and he wouldn’t do it again. Instead he continued being argumentative, acknowledged he did not have permission and then accused the officer of having damaged his car door. The officer told him that was not true and that the vehicle and existing damage was already on his vehicles video camera from when he drove up.
Given the uncooperative attitude and accusations of damage to his vehicle, the officer chose to document the incident on an incident report. The report was listed as misdemeanor theft by taking. The officer had no way of knowing how much power had been consumed, how much it cost nor how long it had been charging.
The report made its way to Sgt Ford’s desk for a follow up investigation. He contacted the middle school and inquired of several administrative personnel whether the individual had permission to use power. He was advised no. Sgt. Ford showed a photo to the school resource officer who recognized Mr. Kamooneh. Sgt Ford was further advised that Mr. Kamooneh had previously been advised he was not allowed on the school tennis courts without permission from the school . This was apparently due to his interfering with the use of the tennis courts previously during school hours.
Based upon the totality of these circumstances and without any expert advice on the amount of electricity that may have been used, Sgt Ford signed a theft warrant. The warrant was turned over to the DeKalb Sheriffs Dept for service because the individual lived in Decatur, not Chamblee. This is why he was arrested at a later time.
I am sure that Sgt. Ford was feeling defensive when he said a theft is a theft and he would do it again. Ultimately, Sgt. Ford did make the decision to pursue the theft charges, but the decision was based on Mr. Kamooneh having been advised that he was not allowed on the property without permission. Had he complied with that notice none of this would have occurred. Mr. Kamooneh’s son is not a student at the middle school and he was not the one playing tennis. Mr. Kamooneh was taking lessons himself.»
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