Briefing

Florida man allegedly vandalizes Lime and Bird e-scooters under cover of night

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The suspected vandal, Randall Thomas Williams, is accused of slashing the brakes and putting stickers over the activation barcodes of at least 20 e-scooters in Fort Lauderdale, rendering them useless. Williams, who did not reveal his motive to police, has been charged with criminal mischief and released on US$500 bail. (New York Times)

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Talking point: At least 140 scooters have been vandalized in the city, and though police only linked Williams to 20 incidents, most of the remainder occurred within a two-block radius of his apartment and had a similar damage pattern. E-scooters have suffered comparable fates in other U.S. jurisdictions, where critics have decried them as a nuisance and a safety risk—more than 100 were dumped into a California lake last year, while some Los Angeles residents have taken to smearing the scooters with feces and setting them on fire. Meanwhile, Parisians have been known to throw e-scooters into the Seine. In Canada, Bird e-scooters underwent a pilot trial in Toronto’s Distillery District in September, and scooters are already on the road in parts of B.C., Alberta, and Quebec. So far, incidents of vandalism have been reported in Montreal and Calgary.