Arrest made in vandalism of 42 LinkNYC kiosks in Manhattan

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Thursday, April 25, 2019
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Police announced that 41-year-old Juan Rodriguez was charged in connection with the vandalism.

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) -- An arrest has been made after more than three dozen LinkNYC kiosks were vandalized in Manhattan.

A spokesperson with LinkNYC says at least 42 kiosks have been smashed in the West Village and Chelsea, leaving a trail of destruction along Sixth and Eighth avenues and across 14th Street.

The first incident was reported April 19 at 15th Street and 5th Ave just after noon. A rock was used to smash the kiosk.

Police announced Wednesday evening that 41-year-old Juan Rodriguez was charged in connection to the attacks. He is facing multiple charges of criminal mischief.

There are more than 1,000 kiosks throughout the five boroughs that provide internet access, a place to charge phones and phone service.

"I don't know why anyone would destroy public property like that, I am really sad to see this," a resident said.

Security footage captured the person causing the damage, and several good Samaritans called police to provide a suspect description.

LinkNYC provides a way to access the internet, a public service that for some is their only way to get internet service. A company spokesperson released the following statement:

"LinkNYC provides a valuable public service to many of the city's most vulnerable. The most dialed number using the tablet phone app is the EBT customer service line; and in a recent survey of LinkNYC users, 15% of respondents from New York said it is their only high speed internet connection. That number goes up to 29% in some areas of the city. When people vandalize Links, they impede on its ability to fund and deliver these services."


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