A St. Petersburg woman who police say has called the agency more than 11,000 times this year has been arrested on a charge of making harassing phone calls, according to court documents.
In her arrest warrant, police said the woman “continuously calls and harasses, belittles, swears at, argues with, and demands officers come arrest her.” At one point in early July, she called the St. Petersburg Police Emergency Communications Center 512 times in the span of 24 hours, police said.
At the time, the woman was out on bail after previously being arrested after police said she made excessive calls to the agency’s nonemergency line. In the earlier arrest affidavit, police said she accounted for 10% of the call volume to the nonemergency line that year so far, using “extreme expletives, sexual innuendo, and belittling remarks” in her calls.
St. Petersburg Police spokesperson Yolanda Fernandez said the agency tried several tactics to get the woman to stop before deciding to arrest her. Initially, they dispatched their mental health team to try to help the woman, but that didn’t stop the calls. So they tried verbal warnings and then sending officers to the woman’s home.
At one point, Fernandez said, the woman made more than 1,000 calls in a 24-hour period — more than half the calls the agency received that day. At that point, the agency’s legal team sent her a letter telling her to cease and desist.
“It’s highly unusual that we would charge somebody,” Fernandez said. She said the agency does get other repeat callers, but dispatching the mental health team has helped address the issue.
The woman was booked in the jail Monday on the misdemeanor harassing phone calls charge and was released on her own recognizance the next day. The Tampa Bay Times is not naming the woman because she is only charged with a misdemeanor.