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Leo the ‘homeless coder’ arrested in NYC for sleeping on a bench [updated]

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Leo, who is homeless, has been learning to code JavaScript

Leo, a young man known online has the “homeless coder,” has been arrested by a New York City Police officer for sleeping on a park bench after hours – trespassing, reports Business Insider. To make matters worse, his laptop has been confiscated by the NYPD, and he may miss his opportunity to appear on NBC’s “The Today Show” on Wednesday.

Patrick McConlogue, the 23-year-old developer who has been teaching Leo how to write programs in JavaScript every week for nearly two months, attempted to bail Leo out of jail, but has thus far been unsuccessful. McConlogue was also unable to retrieve the Samsung Chromebook, which he bought for Leo’s lessons, despite showing officers his receipt for the computer. (Apparently, he needed to know the entire serial number because that’s how NYC bureaucracies roll.)

Leo’s story began at the end of August, after McConlogue wrote a post for Medium about his proposition to the young man, who was forced onto the street after losing his job at MetLife. McConlogue offered Leo a choice: $100, or coding lessons. Leo, of course, chose the latter, and began working on an app with the help of McConlogue’s expertise and three JavaScript books. His story inspired thousands of people across the Web, and a Facebook page devoted to Leo’s journey has received more than 33,000 “likes.”

For now, Leo is stuck behind bars at Central Booking for not having a proper place to sleep. More than 1,000 people have liked McConlogue’s status update about Leo’s position, and more than 500 have left messages of support. In a second update, McConlogue emphasized that the NYPD “did nothing wrong” by arresting Leo. And has asked the community to help him get “someone higher up [in the NYC government] to realize what has happened and help.” Those interested in helping Leo get out of jail can contact the NYC Mayor’s Office here.

Update: Leo is out of jail, as McConlogue revealed in a Facebook post earlier today. See the full post below:

 

[Image via Business Insider]

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