Jeffrey Hawkins, Jr, Courtesy: Asheville Citizen Times
Asheville, NC-- City police believe they finally identified a man who has been making disturbing, anonymous phone calls to random Mission Hospital patients for more than two years.
Jeffrey Alan Hawkins Jr., 28, of Hurst Drive, Candler, was charged Wednesday with six counts of making harassing phone calls.
"Beginning in November 2010, there have been several documented incidents where anonymous phone calls have been received in patient rooms on both the St. Joseph's and Memorial campus," according to a search warrant application filed by police Detective Kevin Taylor.
"These calls have been made to patient rooms during the evening or nighttime hours and oftentimes when the patients are asleep. The anonymous male caller sometimes breathes heavily and says nothing, other times asks the patient personal questions about their hospital care, what they are wearing or their sexual mood, other times tells the patient that he is watching them, and other times pretends to be a close friend or family member."
Hawkins could not be reached for comment, and Mission Hospital officials declined to comment.
Police referred questions about the case - including why the suspect may have targeted hospital patients - to Taylor, who was out of the office Thursday.
Police identified Hawkins as a suspect after Taylor obtained a search warrant to check T-Mobile subscriber data. The hospital's caller ID system had revealed a T-Mobile cellphone was used in the calls, according to the search warrant.
Police weren't able to link Hawkins with the calls earlier in the investigation because the hospital's caller ID system had been unable to identify the phone number of the caller, Taylor wrote in the warrant.
He noted the calls had stopped for a while, but began again on Jan. 16, "when multiple anonymous calls were made to patients' rooms on the seventh and eighth floors of the St. Joseph's campus and on the fifth floor of the Memorial campus."
This time, the hospital's caller ID system recorded the phone number used.
Hawkins has been in trouble with the law before. He was convicted of sexual battery in 2010 and received a suspended sentence and probation, according to N.C. Department of Correction records.
Making harassing phone calls is a misdemeanor.