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Posted: December 05, 2013

Man arrested for charging electric car at school

Kamooneh's Nissan Leaf

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            Man arrested for charging electric car at school
Kamooneh's Nissan Leaf

WSB-TV - Atlanta

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —

Police arrested a Georgia man and put him in jail for plugging his electric car into an outlet at an Atlanta-area middle school.

Kaveh Kamooneh says he usually charges his electric Nissan LEAF at home. But a few weeks ago he plugged his car into an outlet outside the school while his son watched a tennis match.

Kamooneh said he'd been parked and plugged at Chamblee Middle School only about 30 minutes when he spotted a Chamblee officer. Kamooneh says the officer said he was going to arrest him for stealing electricity, but then said he was free to go.

Kamooneh says about 10 days later a DeKalb County sheriff's deputy arrested him for misdemeanor theft by taking.

Kamooneh says he quickly paid the $1,500 bail but he wasn't released for another 15 hours.

Police claim Kamooneh was difficult and uncooperative with the officer and that the school had asked Kamooneh to leave the property. Kamooneh says that never happened.

Kamooneh claims he was not difficult and says plugging in around town for a quick charge has never been a problem before.

"I remember in particular at a doctor's office (I asked) the security guard and he found it strange I was even asking. I plugged in and that was that."

Chris Campbell of the Electric Vehicle Club said as far as he knows, Kamooneh's experience with police  is unprecedented.

"It's stunning that somebody would get arrested for five cents of eletricity," Campbell said, referring to previous media reports estimating the dollar amount of the electricity used at about five cents. 

Kamooneh says he'll face a judge about this case in February.