The woman reportedly made 512 calls to a police precinct in a 24-hour period
Carla Jefferson, 51, allegedly “harasses, belittles, swears at, argues with” anyone who takes her calls to the St Petersburg Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, according to court documents.
Officials estimated that Ms Jefferson’s calls accounted for 10 per cent of incoming phone traffic to the St Petersburg PD in 2022.
According to the precinct, she called 512 times in a 24-hour span, often delivering “vulgar, threatening or obscene” messages.
Police could not simply ignore the numerous calls, as they are obligated to take every call that comes into the centre in the event of an emergency.
Yolanda Fernandez, a St Petersburg police spokesperson, told Fox 13 that on top of having to field emergencies, the officers also had to deal with the woman’s abusive calls.
“They’re talking to people who are scared, who are on the worst day of their life because they need police,” she said. “And on top of that, they have to deal with somebody who’s just calling to harass them.”
Beyond just annoying the officers, the woman’s incessant calls also allegedly held up emergency lines, preventing people who legitimately needed help from reaching the department.
“She doesn’t call to ask for any police services. She calls to harass, to cuss and just degrade the call takers,” Ms Fernandez said. “We’re kind of at a situation now where her calls are interfering with our ability to respond to regular residents who need police response.”
Ms Jefferson was arrested earlier in the summer and is now out on bond. Prior to her arrest she was given a notice warning her that continued calls would result in her prosecution.
She allegedly made a call to police as soon as she received the affidavit, telling them to arrest her because she “loves playing this game.” When police arrived she reportedly refused to open her door, court records said.
Ultimately she was charged with three misdemeanours for abusing the 911 system and for making harassing phone calls.