Man Charges iPhone On Train, Arrested For ‘Abstracting Electricity’

A man who charged his iPhone on a London overground train has been arrested for using a plug socket.

Robin Lee, a 45-year-old artist, was traveling from Hackney Wick to Camden Road on the train on Friday July 10 when the incident unfolded. As he departed the train, he was then confronted by a police community support officer who informed Lee that he’d been taking electricity illegally.

Lee recalled the situation to the Evening Standard. “She said I’m abstracting electricity,” Lee explained. “She kept saying it’s a crime.”

As Lee and the policewoman started to discuss the incident, he noticed that there were already a number of other police officers on the platform, and she then beckoned them over: “She called to them and said, ‘This guy’s been abstracting electricity, he needs to be arrested.”

Continuing his tale to the Mirror, Lee added, “I said, ‘If it’s a crime you need to arrest me and if it’s not you need to let me go.’ I wasn’t struggling, I wasn’t raising my voice. I told them to make a decision while four of them were in my face.”

At this point, Lee, who said that he’d only used the plug socket to charge his phone for 5 minutes, attempted to push his way past the police officers. They then handcuffed him, placed him into a van, and took him to Islington’s British Transport Police station. Once there, he was de-arrested.

Lee insisted that the entire debacle was “ridiculous,” and was adamant that he should never have been arrested. “Abstracting electricity is something you charge cannabis growers with when they use electricity from a source other than their own home. I just plugged my iPhone in for 5 minutes on the train,” he declared.

The British Transport Police have confirmed that they approached “a man becoming aggressive when challenged by a police community support officer about his use of a plug socket on board on Overground train.”

As well as being “arrested on suspicion of abstracting electricity, for which he was de-arrested shortly after… He was further arrested for unacceptable behaviour and has been reported for this offence.”

The sockets on the London Underground after clearly marked with the words: “cleaners use only and not for public use.” They are only supposed to be used by cleaners when the trains are stationed in depots, and there’s a good chance that if a piece of electronic equipment is plugged in it could lead to a power surge.”

[Image via Bloomua / Shutterstock]