NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police have arrested the man they say has been damaging dozens of LinkNYC kiosks in Manhattan.
The kiosks replaced phone booths and provide free Wi-Fi and calling services, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Tuesday.
Authorities say 41-year-old Juan Rodriguez has been charged with multiple counts of criminal mischief.
Late Tuesday night, authorities released images of Rodriguez throwing a rock at the terminals; one of 42 Wi-Fi kiosks he allegedly smashed all throughout Manhattan.
“Why? Why would you do that? I mean, they’re spending a lot of money to put those out there and it’s kind of convenient,” said Sandra Brathwait, who works in the area.
Police say the 41-year-old spread out his vandalism across at least five NYPD precincts, including the 6th, 10th, 13th, Midtown South, and Midtown North Precincts.
“It seems like an unnecessary form of anger, so it bothers me, definitely,” West Village resident David Hutchings said.
On Friday, Mohammed Islam was at his fruit stand at the corner of 14th Street and 5th Avenue when he said he heard a loud crash at the kiosk just steps away. He said he saw the suspect, a man, throw a large stone at the screen in broad daylight.
“A lot of people see … he broke the other one and then go,” Islam said.
The kiosks have received backlash for being a place where the homeless camp out and where others use the Wi-Fi to watch pornography. Police have not linked those concerns to this string of vandalism, Cline-Thomas reported.