Man accused of severing brake lines of e-scooters in Fort Lauderdale
Police investigate more than 140 e-scooter vandalism incidents since April
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Fort Lauderdale man was arrested Sunday for severing the brake lines of numerous electric scooters throughout the city, authorities announced Tuesday.
Randall Thomas Williams, 59, faces a third-degree felony criminal mischief charge, as well as charges of resisting an officer without violence and loitering or prowling.
According to police, the department is investigating the vandalism of more than 140 e-scooters throughout the city that have been reported since April.
Authorities said the majority of incidents occurred near the 1200 block of East Broward Boulevard and all involved severed brake lines. All incidents also occurred within a two-block radius of Williams' home, an arrest report stated.
At the time of his arrest, 20 e-scooters were found nearby with severed brake lines, authorities said.
Home surveillance video from last month appears to show a man, identified by police as Williams, tampering with two e-scooters earlier this summer outside a home on Southeast First Street, just a couple of blocks from Las Olas Boulevard.
Both scooters had the Lime brand logo on them.
In the video, the man looks as if he's messing with the wiring on one of the scooters before he leaves, returns with pliers and proceeds to do something to part of the scooter, possibly the brake line.
"Vandalizing property is a crime and only harms those who rely on these vehicles every day as an affordable, convenient way to get around," a Lime spokeswoman said in a statement Tuesday. "Lime takes vandalism seriously and we are thankful that FLPD was able to apprehend a suspect in this case. Lime will pursue appropriate legal action against those that damage or vandalize our property."
According to his arrest report, Williams was also captured on surveillance video tampering with e-scooters on other dates.
Police said the e-scooters that were targeted since April were both Lime and Bird scooters.
Fort Lauderdale police said the department notified the e-scooter vendors, which removed scooters in the areas where the vandalism incidents were reported to avoid anyone getting injured.
"Anyone who witnesses someone tampering with electric scooters should call 911 immediately," officials with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department stated in a news release. "Additionally, anyone who finds a scooter that appears to have been tampered with should contact the vendor."
According to his arrest report, Williams requested an attorney after he was taken into custody and told officers that he "did not want to dig himself into a grave."
Copyright 2019 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.