Artist Robin Lee was “handcuffed and bundled into a police van” after being confronted about using the power socket on the train from Hackney to Camden Road on Friday 10 July.
He told the Evening Standard he was approached by a PCSO who accused him of “abstracting electricity”.
He said: “She was quite aggressive about it and kept saying it’s a crime.”
Lee said he was arrested after he tried to push past four further officers on the platform at Camden Road station. He claimed the PCSO: “Called to them and said ‘This guy’s been abstracting electricity, he needs to be arrested.’”
He was taken to the British Transport Police base at Caledonian Road where he was de-arrested.
A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesman said: “We were called to Camden Road London Overground station on Friday, 10 July to a report of a man becoming aggressive when challenged by a PCSO about his use of a plug socket onboard an Overground train.
“Shortly after 3.30pm, a 45-year-old man from Islington was arrested on suspicion of abstracting electricity, for which he was de-arrested shortly after.
“He was further arrested for unacceptable behaviour and has been reported for this offence.”
The Crown Prosecution Service will determine whether charges should be brought against Lee.
Wired points out the amount of electricity Lee abstracted is likely to be small – the cost of keeping an iPhone full charged for a year is less than £1.