Police Issue Statement Detailing Why the Electricity Stealing Nissan LEAF Driver Was Arrested (w/video)


Arrest Story Goes National

Arrest Story Goes National

Just the other day, we reported on a Nissan LEAF driver who was jailed for reportedly stealing approximately 5 cents worth of electricity.

As we stated at the time, it probably wasn’t a wise decision for the LEAF owner to plug in without permission.

School Tennis Courts Are Not For Public Use

School Tennis Courts Are Not For Public Use

Well, wise is not what this particular LEAF owner was.

The local authorities have issued a statement, which we regard as the truth in the matter.  What was once thought to be unfair treatment of an electric vehicle owner will now be viewed in an entirely different light.

Here’s the statement in its entirety:

“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.”

Updated video posted below, which was put out by 11Alive after getting wind of the LEAF driver’s questionable story:

Category: Nissan

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61 responses to "Police Issue Statement Detailing Why the Electricity Stealing Nissan LEAF Driver Was Arrested (w/video)"
  1. David Murray says:

    Yeah, I’d say this changes things quite a bit.

    1. taser54 says:

      I’d gather that a trespassing charge will be added, given the prior warning to the man by school officials.

      1. Nix says:

        The charges should be amended to drop the theft charge, which was silly, and amended to be a trespassing charge, which seems to be a very clear cut case (since he was already told not to be there) Because this sounds like the real case has little to do with property loss, and much more to do with this guy being a jerk and being somewhere he shouldn’t have been in the first place.

        1. Taser54 says:

          Why drop the theft charge? He admitted to the officer that he did it. No the line was drawn by the driver when he accused the policeman of damaging his car.

          Did the guy merit jail time? No. Did he merit a kick in the pants, yes. He’s made EV owners look like pompous jerks. It’s going to take a lot of goodwill to overcome this as the public tends to remember the outrageous.

    2. MrEnergyCzar says:

      Just a bit. The original story should have been, “Man arrested for tresspassing on school property, EV owner”….


    3. Skeptical says:

      Not so fast. Here is my understanding of the story, from multiple news sources.

      The man was told to not use the tennis courts. He was there to watch his kid take tennis lessons on a Saturday morning, and wasn’t using them himself. The outlet is on the side of the parking lot opposite the tennis courts, so you can see them from the court and, from Google Maps, it looks like you can park in the lot and connect. The police didn’t charge him with trespass because they couldn’t, it was a public place and he had every right to be there to watch his kid practice (though maybe not to play himself).

      And there is implied consent to the use of electrical outlets in public places, unless there is a sign “Authorized use only”, they are locked up, or turned off. They are put there for the public to use electricity. Nobody would charge you with theft for plugging your casserole dish in at a park. The problem is, some “concerned citizen” who maybe didn’t like EVs, called 911 because they say his car parked there. The officer showed up, and instead of walking over to the courts and saying “Is this your car?” decided to do some “investigating” on his own. He unplugged the car and started rummaging around in it (claiming he had “no way” of knowing who the owner was without entry to the vehicle – duh, how about running plates?). He was likely hoping to find some illegal substances so that he could seize the car – see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/31/drug-search-trekies-stopped-searched-illinois_n_1364087.html for how this works.

      The tennis instructor sees the cop in the car and tells the owner, who walks over to the car and sees the officer with one leg out of the vehicle rummaging around. The owner says, “What are you doing in my car?”, and then says that first the cop “didn’t seem interested in answering his question, then later claims that the car was “abandoned”. The cop says he is going to arrest the owner for theft, and the owner says that it is an “accepted practice” (to plug in to public outlets). The cop asks if he had permission, which is silly, since it was Saturday morning and there was no one to ask. So instead of a friendly “Hey, I’d appreciate it if you could disconnect here” the cop invades the owner’s personal property using the claim of an “investigation”. When the owner objects, the cop claims he is being obnoxious (which is not a crime) and then decides to “put him in his place” by filing a report. The cops later check with the school, and report that they said they had told the man not to use the tennis courts because he had previously interfered with practice during school hours. But then the police make a wild claim of a $10 to $25 “theft” on a warrant (which I believe is required to be sworn, meaning they either didn’t take the short time needed to find it was actually closer to 5 cents or they knew and knowingly lied about the amount). They then have him hauled into jail in the evening so he has to spend close to fifteen hours until the next day when he can get the paperwork processed to get out. (That taught him not to question the cops, didn’t it?)

      Altogether probably several hundred dollars in time (with more public dollars wasted responding to reporters and future costs) were wasted because the Chamblee police department had to “prove” something. After all, a “theft is a theft” (according to the chief of police – who is also apparently the city manager) no matter how small, even though implied consent would mean that it is not a theft.

      So, according to this measure if the city police plug their personal cell phones in to the outlet by their desk (or in the park, or at the city pool, etc.) and haven’t got express prior permission from the city, they are also guilty of theft by taking, and should all be locked up for fifteen hours. A theft is a theft, no matter how small.

      So that is my understanding of what happened. It looks to me like the police got their knickers in a bind when they weren’t being professional and courteous over what was a really inconsequential matter, then were questioned about it. Rather than saying, “sorry” they had to punish the “offender” by throwing him in jail in the most inconvenient way possible. Then it blew up on the internet and made them a laughingstock, so they still try to defend themselves. My guess is that the case will be dropped quickly and the car owner might sue for some violation of his civil rights, which will cost the good people of Chamblee even more money than has already been wasted on this fiasco.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Agreed, “Skeptical”, and just to add to your points, if the school is a PUBLIC School then it is a Public Commons, and the PS doesn’t really own anything. The taxpayers actually own the school and he, being a taxpayer, may have assumed ‘implied consent’ from the $1000’s / annum extracted from his hide, that he could use $.05 of electricity, there being no signage to the contrary.

  2. Sam says:

    Total croc.
    Call 911 because something is plugged in to a outdoor public school outlet???
    If trespassing was the problem that’s what they should have charged them with.

    It’s clearly the anti EV bias. They thought it was $25 worth of electricity. So misinformed that it’s only $0.04 worth of electricity.

    There’s no way to justify such absurd action over 4 cents of electricity. Folks who bend over backwards to apologize for this make the situation worse by encouraging anti EV sentiment over four cents worth of electricity.

    1. Sam says:

      I meant by encouraging anti EV misinformation. Folks need to be educated about how inexpensive it is to charge an electric car. Not perpetuate absurd reaction to trivial amounts.

    2. JakeY says:

      I agree, trespassing charges would be way more appropriate. The “theft” charge makes it seem like they just wanted to charge him with something simply because he was a jerk.

  3. Ted Fredrick says:

    There is no law against being an idiot or a jerk. Trump up charges to say the least

  4. Aaron says:

    Who the f— calls 911 about someone plugged into a publicly-available outlet? No wonder I can never get emergency services to come to my house in a decent amount of time! I’ll bet it was the same person who called 911 when McDonald’s ran out of Chicken McNuggets.


    1. taser54 says:

      Obviously, you aren’t aware that 911 is for crimes in progress. The dispatcher then determines how and when to dispatch the officers.


      1. Aaron says:

        Yes, I am. What are you trying to say? Yes, “stealing electricity” is a crime, but is it even worthy of calling 911?

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Anyone can call 911. It is police department or dispatcher job to decide if it is worthy of checking out… It is judge/juror’s job to determine if the person is guilty….

    2. sven says:

      Was the outlet publicly available? He parked his car in the “kitchen loading dock,” not in a space in the school’s parking lot.

  5. Spin says:

    So, this is even worse than I suspected.

    My post from the previous thread:

    I suspect this guy was doing this every time he went to the school, and someone saw this and reported him. Maybe a school official asked him to stop doing this and he ignored them. Why didn’t he charge at home? Surely the school was well within the range of his Leaf. He found a way for the taxpayers to pay for his sons transportation needs. If he had an ice vehicle and he siphoned gas out of a school vehicle parked in the lot, none of you would have a problem with him being arrested. This guy was probably gaming the system, and if so, deserved to be arrested.

    Not only is this guy a thief, he is a liar too. This gives all EV owners a bad name. This is not a case of a guy needing a charge to get home. He was stealing electricity on a consistent basis. He is a thief, plain and simple. I hope they throw the book at him to discourage other EV owners from practicing this behavior, and giving us all a bad name. I encourage all owners of plug in vehicles to get permission before they plug in.

    1. sven says:

      That’s a great analogy Spin. Plugging-in without permission is akin to siphoning gas without permission. It like he was “siphoning electricity” from the school.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Except that everyone does this. The next time someone is charging a cellphone using an outlet in an airport terminal, should I dial 911? I’m guessing, in that scenario, I may be the only one to then get arrested.

        Given the circumstances surrounding the “arrest” I think it makes more sense, but the taking of electricity from a convenient outlet at a PUBLIC facility is pretty commonplace.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          If you charge your phone at an airport terminal after you have been told NOT to be inside of that terminal, you will be arrested by airport security….

        2. Spin says:

          People charge their phone at airports because they don’t want the battery to run out when they need to use the device. This guy was charging his car on a regular basis when he was playing tennis, and trying to save money by not charging at home. In my mind that is clearly theft. If anyone thinks 5 cents is not enough to charge someone with a crime, where do you draw the line? Is $5 a crime? How long has he been doing this? Is it ok to steal 50 cents a day from taxpayers? This guy was asked not to trespass and he did. He was probably asked to not charge his car and he ignored the warning. He is a thief and should pay for his crime. That is the only way he will understand that he should not do this.

          1. George B says:

            How do you know that he was charging at the school to save money? We don’t even know how far he lived, and what his charging situation was at home.

  6. John F says:

    All the adults involved in this — the sheriffs, the leaf owner, and the school officers — look bad. Why couldn’t they work together to come up with better ways to live together? If the time and effort used for an emergency response, an investigation, an arrest warrant, an arrest, a booking, and the misdemeanor charges were instead used to find a solution everyone could live with, this would be over. What now? Do they waste more time and effort to go before a judge and jury to settle this thing? This seems so simple. Apparently, people in the Chamblee community get to use the public school’s tennis courts when school is not in session, but not the schools outdoor electric outlets. So there is dual use of the tennis courts, and exclusive use of the plug in outlets. Going forward, any LEAF drivers should get to play off hours tennis, but not recharge.

    If this was a forward looking community, they would be planning some on-site level 2 chargers for the teachers working at the school, and perhaps long range level 3 quick chargers for future bus transportation.

    1. sven says:

      Read the story before you comment. This was not the first time the school had a problem with the Leaf owner. The school previously caught the Leaf owner using the tennis courts during school hours when the students needed to use the courts. The school did not call the police, but did asked the Leaf owner to leave (pun intended), and told him he was banned from using the tennis courts without the school’s permission. The situation was resolved and they could have all lived together peacefully, but the Leaf owner decided he was entitled to not only use the tennis courts but also use the school’s electricity to charge his Leaf. It’s like that old saying: “Good fences make good neighbors.”

      There will also be no jury trial, because the Leaf owner went before a judge and paid a fine. Therefore, the Leaf owner either plead guilty or plead no contest. He just lied to the TV reporters, playing the victim, so that he wouldn’t look like such a jerk.

      1. John F says:

        Sven, I did read the article. When I read the part about the school banning the LEAF owner from playing tennis without permission, I felt the school was being unreasonable and treating the LEAF owner like a child. They know he can play tennis at the school, and they know when he can and cannot play, and all they should have done is explain their policy. Unless the community has everyone sign up in advance to reserve recreational tennis time, this was the school officer being confrontational and behaving badly. The police used this when deciding to arrest and jail the LEAF owner. Playing tennis on a Saturday morning when there is nobody at the school does not seem like much of a reason to send someone to jail. Nor does using 5 cents worth of electricity seem like a good reason. This is why this is national news! Chamblee Georgia is just not a friendly place if your name is Kaveh Kamooneh and you drive a Nissan LEAF.

        1. Steve T says:

          I disagree…..sure seems like this guy’s attitude in the past had something to do with the fact that he was no longer allowed on the property.

          Plus, do you have a problem with the police? Seems like you may have prejudice.

  7. Rick says:

    This new revelation just feeds my suspicion that some EV owners have entitlement issues. However, I would not worry too much about him giving EV owners a bad name, a jerk is still a jerk no matter what he drives, or steals. This guy’s issues go way beyond EV entitlement.

    1. Nix says:

      It sounds like this guy has been a jerk for much longer than Leaf’s have been for sale. I agree it has nothing to do with EV owners.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:


        He could have avoided this by discussing this with the officer and remove his plug and move his car. If he was nice about it, the policer probably wouldn’t even bother to write up the incident report….

  8. Francis L says:

    It is still a stupid story! One guy plugged his EV, and use a tennis court he wasn’t suppose to on saturday. Ok this is not nice, but does he deserves jail for that? I’m starting to understand why jails in USA are so crowded!

    Having a criminal record only for this is clearly exaggerated! The guy might not be perfect, but the police still looks really dump!

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Other sites are calling this guy a “jerk.” Now that’s way overboard in my opinion. Let’s keep news of this nature as straight-forward as possible.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        From the description of the incidence, he looks like a “BIG JERK”….

        1. qwerty says:

          So pre-judgement is OK and giving him a label as well?

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      He spent 15 hours in jail. Typically, for any arrest, you can spend up o 24 hours in county jail after your arrest….

      Now, the court will determine if he was guilty.

      1. qwerty says:

        Awesome, he was treated and served time as “Guilty” before proven anything…..

        1. sven says:

          Huh? Everyone who is arrested is held in custody (in a holding cell) before they are arraigned before a judge who either sets bail or releases them on their own recognizance. Most everywhere, if you get arrested on a Friday evening, you’ll be sitting in holding cell all weekend until you get arraigned on Monday morning.

        2. Steve T says:

          Say waahhhh???

      2. sven says:

        The previous story said he went before the judge and paid a fine. Therefore, he either plead guilty or he plead no contest.

    3. sven says:

      “The guy might not be perfect, but the police still looks really dump!”

      Ironic. How can you call the police dumb when you can’t even spell the word? 😉

      1. Steve T says:

        Good one, Sven!

  9. Mercedes-Benz says:

    Regardless its still extremely petty and if this is what has become then the world is ******…. wait a minute what am i saying the world has already been ******.

    1. sven says:

      I agree. It’s petty larceny!

  10. 2013LeafSV says:

    We have a new spin. Guys a jerk, cops arrest him at 8pm forcing an overnight stay.. Was this intentional and is that illegal? Was his file flagged as a jerk initiating an inconvenient time for the arrest?

    In any case, I see 2 sides. The law is black & white. Quantity stolen is irrelevant. I guess folks can all 911 if someone steals their pencil. Perhaps the law needs to be amended for subjective “reasonable” theft amounts, but I guess that can be exploited as well.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Well said. +1

    2. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

      False. There is a concept of de minimis in the law. If you steal one grain of rice from a store, your arrest would easily get thrown out.

      Secondly, it looks to me like the police circling ranks to cover their collective posteriors. I would not be surprised if this report is an exaggeration. The fact that the guy had to spend the night in jail sounds very much like retribution or grudge settling.

      Whether or not the guy was a jerk, the charge should have been trespassing, not theft of an inconsequential amount of electricity.

  11. Wood Foss says:

    Aren’t we losing sight of the real issue here??? And the issue is:

    “Should I be able to plug my vehicle into any available outlet to charge?”

    In my humble opinion -the answer is NO!!!

    Airports, airplanes, trains, cruise ships, & restaurants provide free charging for cell phones because they want their customers to love them. It is part of doing business..

    I have an electric socket for my EV on my company building. On several occasions I have video taped people driving up and plugging in their car. (One rascal actually unplugged my car and plugged his in!!) I walk out to the spot and say to them – “You could have come in and asked….” I finally had to put a lock on the box.

    1. Aaron says:

      A woman wearing a T-back and yoga pants (not that I was looking!) was charging at the airport last week from an outlet behind a non-staffed counter. Should I have called 911?

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        You should.. You didn’t b/c you are biased since you are EV lover… NOTHING wrong with that.

  12. Kosh says:

    Hmmm…. guess I’ll go remove those outlets on our power backboard down by the street (used while building the house)……..

  13. Bill Howland says:

    This case is bad for the cops. Have they never heard of “Implied Consent”?

    This is why a meter reader can trespass on your property to read or change the outdoor meter without notifying you first.

    The cops either were dumb about this , or else they were just thuggish pricks.

    He had a reason to be there, he was watching his daughter.

    Since these 2 cops had no real crimes to pursue, how about we fire these 2 guys, save $200k / annum , and give 5 cents back to the school district?

    There’s all kinds of theft, like the theft that happens to me at tax time. I’m in “Voluntary Compliance” becuase I don’t want the alternative.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      The school has told the guy NOT to be on the tennis court….

      1. qwerty says:

        It also states they were there for a reason……his child playing tennis.
        Many schools allow their courts to be played on by the public. They are funded by the public/tax payers anyway.
        So is there a pay per use device of the electricity when they plug in those ball launchers? Someone better go catch those ball launching thieves…..

        1. sven says:

          Did you bother reading the the police statement above? The police statement said Mr. Kamooneh’s son is NOT a student at the school, and his son was NOT the one playing tennis. In fact, Mr. Kamooneh was taking a tennis lesson on the court. He had previously been told that he was not allowed on the school tennis courts without permission from the school, because had previously interfered with the use of the tennis courts during school hours. Mr. Kamooneh also wasn’t parked in the school parking lot when he plugged in. Instead he parked his car at the “kitchen loading dock.” In other words, Mr. Kamooneh completely lied to the TV reporters so that he wouldn’t look like such a jerk.

          Why do people comment on a story without first reading the story?

          1. Steve T says:

            Sven, querty doesn’t want facts to get in the way of this argument. Maybe we should just let him have his fun, unchecked.

            Your post was riddled with facts, and it appears you have the story straight…..how dare you Sven! Lol.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        MMF that’s a separate issue not germane to the issue of the cops rummaging through his car. This particular day he was not personally on the court.

        Its an important issue to me seeing as there is the increasing militarization of police, plus a huge increase in thuggishness.

        Our ‘soft hatted’ police forces at one time the envy of the world. But now, Here in NY State, they seem to be tasering kids right and left. Countrywide, over 500 people last year DIED from trigger happy cops’ tasering. No judge or jury presiding over the instant death sentence. And no recourse.

        Its painfully obvious to me that Locale has one police cruiser and 2 cops too many. They should be fired.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Just today a cop in San Antonio unloaded his whole revolver (according to witnesses) into an unarmed 23 year old University student just for asking the sarcastic question, “Oh, now you’re going to shoot me?”.

          Other cases happen by the week of kids killed for brandishing toy guns, besides the over 500 taser’d deaths last year. Of course if you (the VICTIM of Tyranny) live, then you’re charged with ASSULTING a police officer since you got in the way of his bullets. Or your charged with assult if you as much as lift up your hands to try to prevent being beaten to a pulp.

          As far as the San Antonio cop goes, a quick jury trial then public hanging will be the only just outcome.

          This case fortunately didn’t proceed to such an extreme conclusion, but there need to be consequences for these out-of-control Police Depts that have no cost or accountability.

    2. sven says:

      Bill read the story. The child was NOT playing tennis and does not attend the school. The guy was taking a tennis lesson, even though the school had banned him from the property because he was using the tennis courts during school hours and therefore interfering with the students use of the courts.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Well he claimed his daughter was there, but if that’s not the case then he is fibbing.. But we used to have laws against trivial arrest. This could easily be dismissed as a point of misunderstood “implied consent”.

        I think the defense side has the stronger case. And I still say if the Thuggish cops are going after a guy for 5 cents, then they are paying
        $200,000 too much for labor in that precinct.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        The story as written doesn’t make sense.. Obviously he was there for some reason.

        As mentioned in my post above, if this is a public school and there is no signage to the contrary, the outlet could be considered a public commons and since he was a taxpayer, he’s allowed to use it, sans signage.

        The cops committed the far bigger crime of going on a fishing expedition inside his cause without a Warrant from a Judge showing probable cause.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          sorry, inside his vehicle without a warrant.

  14. qwerty says:

    One guy posted in GM Volt.com asking if all the Tennis players that bring the ball launchers and plug them in should all be arrested?

    Well, if as the cop states “Theft is Theft” then by all means, somebody fund the efforts for the few cents that was stolen and recover the loss……lol