Man calls Clearwater police 98 times in 6 hours

- A man is under arrest after calling the Clearwater Police Department, non-stop. In a matter of hours, police say Michael Mott rang their Communications Center 98 times.

The reason? He said the police have his money and he wants it back.

Here are how some of the calls went:

CPD: Hello? Hello?
Mott: Who is this?
CPD: Clearwater Police Department
Mott: Who is this?
CPD: Nikki.
Mott: Nikki what?
CPD: Sir, can I help you? Do you need the police?
Mott: No. I need my money. But ya'll holding onto it.

He hung up. Then, he called again and again, saying things like, "Ya'll give my money back," and, "Ya'll (expletive) better give me my money." He refused to give his name or his location.

In a matter of six hours, Mott allegedly rang 98 different times. Still, each and every one had to be answered.

"They were frequently tied up with nonsense which is not a good thing," said Rob Shaw, CPD public information officer.

"You never know, that one time he did call, there actually may have been an emergency," said Tracy Squitieri, police communications manager. "We have to treat every call as if it is an emergency until we know otherwise."

The money Mott was referring to had to do with a January drug arrest where police say he sold drugs to officers. During the series of calls, he went so far as to call the chief's office, berating the person who picked up. Police were eventually able to locate and arrest him.

"He used at least two phones for the calls and I'm told by one of our officers that he even made a couple of the calls in the presence of one of our officers, even after we showed up and confronted him about the misuse of the system," said Shaw.

In June, the Communications Center took about 700 calls. To have almost 100 in six hours is a lot -- especially when there are real emergencies.

"This is probably the first time we've had someone this persistent in a very long time," said Squitieri. "When we have someone who is continuously calling back to back to back to back, that doesn't allow for your citizens to get through in a timely manner."

"They're trained to juggle a lot but what they don't really want to do is have to deal with a person who thinks a communication center phone line is a toy," Shaw added.

As for the money, Mott claims that his drug charges are no longer being pursued by the state attorney's office. That's why he wants it back.

Clearwater police have called to find out whether or not that's true. However, Mott now has a new charge on his record: harassing phone calls.

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