Florida Boomer Caught on Video Cutting Brake Lines of Public E-Scooters

Police in Fort Lauderdale, Florida have arrested a man who allegedly cut the brake lines on dozens of public scooters this year. The man has been identified by police as 59-year-old Randall Thomas Williams of Fort Lauderdale, though a possible motive has not yet been released.

The arrest was first reported by NBC Miami, which notes that local police say 140 e-scooters have had their brakes cut in the area this year. Williams has been linked to twenty of the vandalized scooters and has allegedly caused roughly $1,400 in damage, according to police. But there are dozens of other incidents that appear to fit the same pattern dating back to April.

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Police posted Ring camera footage of a man, identified by police as Williams, to YouTube. The man, who’s apparently one of those lawless Baby Boomers we keep hearing about, can be seen approaching the Lime-brand scooters and places something on the scooter’s QR activation code before walking off camera for a short time. He then returns with a tool in hand and appears to cut the brake lines.

Williams has been charged with criminal mischief, a third degree felony and released on $500 bond.

Scooters have been a controversial addition to the urban landscape ever since their widespread introduction just a few years ago, causing outrage in some residents who believe they’re unsightly. Many cities have grappled with citizens chucking the scooters into large bodies of water, like they do in Portland. But even if you hate the scooters, it’s a bad idea to cut the brake lines and endanger the lives of innocent people.

“Anyone who witnesses someone tampering with electric scooters should call 911 immediately,” Fort Lauderdale Police said in a statement posted online. “Additionally, anyone who finds a scooter that appears to have been tampered with should contact the vendor.”

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Matt Novak

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog