Florida man accused of tossing electric scooters into Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Florida man is accused of tossing eight electric scooters into Tampa Bay on Sunday morning, authorities said.

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Parker Brennan Leonard, 20, of St. Petersburg, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, according to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.

According to an arrest affidavit, Leonard and his friends were observed throwing the scooters into the water in St. Petersburg, WTSP-TV reported.

The scooters are valued at about $750 piece, making the loss for VEO, the company that makes the vehicles, about $6,000, according to WFLA-TV.

“Unfortunately some of this stuff, especially when it comes to the scooters, it doesn’t blow in (the water),” Al Antolik, a spokesperson for Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, told WTSP, adding that last month his crew removed 62 electric scooters from Tampa’s Hillsborough River. “People are throwing them in the river.”

In a statement to WFLA, Alex Keating, VEO’s director of public policy, said that “unfortunately, cases of vandalism like this occasionally occur in any public-shared micromobility system.”

“The recovered scooters are inspected by our in-house mechanics to salvage whatever parts remain usable and the batteries are processed for recycling if any damage is identified,” Keating said. “The best way to help prevent these issues is for the public to report any sign of vandalism to the local police or by contacting VEO Customer Service at 855-VEO-2256.”

Leonard posted $2,000 bail several hours after his arrest, online records show.