Charges dropped against man with overdue library books


MSNBC had this short report.

Charges have been dropped against a man who was last month arrested for having overdue library books.

Jeremy Christian Soder, 29, was arrested Jan. 7 during a traffic stop in Fort Myers. A check of his records showed a Pinellas County warrant for failing to appear in court for overdue library material.

Soder said at the time he wanted to learn Spanish for a 1998 trip to Costa Rica, so he checked out about $80 worth of books and tapes from the Clearwater Public Library.

He said he tried twice to return the books, but each time the library was closed, and there was no drop box.
Soder spent a night in jail and later returned the materials to the library. Charges against him were dropped earlier this month.

``I love to read,” Soder said. ``But, this makes me never want to go back to a library.”

The crackdown continued a few days after Soder’s arrest, when another reader spent about eight hours in jail for ignoring notices from the public library.

Beverly J. Goldman, a 24-year-old pregnant mother of two, said she changed addresses and didn’t receive a single notice from the library or the courts until a pair of detectives showed up at her door one morning.

Charges against Goldman also were dropped after she said she would pay off her $127.80 debt.