16-Year Old Arrested for Throwing Scooter into Cedar River
I never did get into that whole "Pokemon GO" craze a few years ago, but I do remember being so energized by all the action and pedestrian traffic it brought to downtown Cedar Rapids. People obsessed with their phones but in a positive and fun way while also hanging out with good friends. If you ever think to yourself there needs to be more to downtown life than going to the bar, this next story explains why we can't have nice things.
The bike share and electric scooter program from VEO Ride came to town and among the issues they anticipated were the handful of mischievous users who would do things like abandoning the rented bikes and scooters after use, in places where they didn't "officially" belong. Multiple warnings have been issued as such, but you wonder if they even had this in mind as a 16-year old has recently been arrested for criminal mischief for intentionally dumping one of the scooters into the Cedar River.
Needless to say, the name of the individual isn't being released as it's a minor. There was a social media video that went viral and helped Cedar Rapids police nab the culprit, who has been charged with 5th-degree criminal mischief. I mean, 5th-degree criminal mischief isn't exactly the end of the world but according to KCRG, it happens more than you think but many others just don't get caught.
A Cedar Rapids resident who says he and friends often head out to Prairie Park Fishery multiple times a week, claims they've had to report bikes and scooters found in the water, fearing their batteries may hurt the water. VEO's Operations Manager Blake Adams says not to worry about that, but their next step may be to work out an incentive or tweak their system to keep these ruffians from engaging in such behavior.
The last resort, unfortunately, would be to drop the program altogether. Too many people have fun with it the right way to have to see that happen, says Adams.