A Pinellas County woman apparently made more than 12,000 9-1-1 calls over the past year just to “yell obscenities” at officers and harass them.
According to Florida court records, 51-year-old Carla Jefferson called the St. Petersburg Police Department — and to a lesser extent, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office — a total of 12,512 times simply to belittle and yell at officers.
Her calls began in January this year and continued over the next eight months, ultimately leading to two arrests for misusing the 9-1-1 system and making harassing phone calls.
9-1-1 dispatchers are obligated to answer every phone call to help those who may have an emergency, so there was no way to avoid the woman’s calls.
“They’re talking to people who are scared, who are having the worst day of their life, because they need police,” Spokesperson Yolanda Fernandez said about dispatchers. “And on top of that, they have to deal with somebody who’s just calling to harass them.”
Fernandez said Jefferson’s calls were so frequent that they often delayed genuine emergency calls.
“She doesn’t call to ask for any police services. She calls to harass, to cuss and just degrade the call takers,” Fernandez told Fox News. “This is not just somebody who’s called police a few times or, you know, abusing the system a little bit. This is someone who is just way beyond. We have not had anyone who crossed the line like this,” Fernandez added.
Eventually, police had enough of the abuse and sent Jefferson a cease-and-desist letter in May warning that she would be charged if she did not stop abusing the 9-1-1 emergency system.
Fernandez said that police tried everything in their power to get Jefferson to stop before arresting her — even sending a mental health team to intervene. She said that arresting her was a last resort.
“Police officers in person, on the phone, legal letters, everything you can imagine to try to get her to stop. And it persisted. So we had to file the charges,” Fernandez said.
Despite the various warnings, Jefferson proceeded to call the department’s communications center over 1,000 times between May and June, prompting police to file an arrest affidavit with the Pinellas County courts.
According to the affidavit, Jefferson’s calls comprised roughly 10% of the non-emergency line’s total call volume.
The document states that on May 30 alone, the woman made 406 calls to the department, many of which were “vulgar, threatening or obscene.”
Jefferson often told staff members that if they hung up the phone, she would call back. The calls often contained “extreme expletives, sexual innuendo and belittling remarks to the communications staff.”
Officers arrived at her home to arrest her on June 30 for misusing the wireless 9-1-1 system and making harassing telephone calls.
The unhinged woman gave officers the middle finger from inside her house and continued to yell and curse at them from inside before being arrested.
After being released on bail following her arrest, the woman persisted with her abusive calls.
According to a second arrest affidavit filed by police, the calls were intended solely to “annoy, threaten or harass” officers and employees.
Her next tirade took place on July 2. Over a 24-hour period, the woman called the department’s 9-1-1 emergency line 512 times and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office communication line twice.
She then demanded that officers arrest her, but hid inside her home and would not answer the door for them when they arrived.
On August 8, the saga continued, and officers arrested her a second time. She was charged with three misdemeanors for making “harassing phone calls” and abusing the 9-1-1 system.
“At the time this affidavit was written, the defendant called back and told officers to come arrest her. She loves playing this game,” the second court document read.
The woman was booked in the Pinellas County jail and released the next day on her own recognizance, jail records stated.
Florida law states that the 9-1-1 system is used “solely for emergency communications by the public.” Misusing the system carries a first-degree misdemeanor charge that can result in up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.