A man accused of habitually calling 911 and hanging up is now facing charges in St. Johns County.
Michael Reston, 38, was booked into the St. Johns County jail on what law enforcement calls a public order crime.
Just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, St. Augustine Beach police officers were called out to the St. Augustine Beach pier to investigate a 911 hang up complaint.
Dispatchers said they had received a 911 hang up from the same number just days prior.
According to the police report, officers found Reston in his car and he admitted to calling 911 and not having an emergency.
That’s when officers decided to look him up on their system.
Officers say he previously made identical calls in Tampa, Port St. Lucie and St. Johns County.
According to Tampa police, Reston called 911 approximately 200 times in two months.
St. Augustine visitor Maurice Lafleur called it unacceptable.
Call 911 is “an abuse of something that (is) better left for real emergencies,” Lafleur said.
A Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said it’s not just illegal but also costly.
Call centers are required to dispatch officers to make sure there’s no real emergency -- not to mention the potential of holding up the line for someone needing help.
“If you abuse the system, it’s normal that you should be sanctioned for something,” Lafleur said.
The report said Reston told deputies he had been sleeping in his car and wanted to talk with someone.
He was issued a trespass warning and charged with misuse of 911, which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
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