Matthew Kyle Leatham is the Florida man who made headlines after he was arrested because of his memorable mugshot. Leatham has the state of Florida tattooed on his forehead, with the peninsula reaching between his eyes.
Leatham has been charged with a misdemeanor because he called 911 twice to request a ride home, according to the criminal complaint available on the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller website. It’s against the law in Florida to make a “false alarm” and misuse emergency responder resources. Leatham was also hit with a drug charge.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Leatham Called 911 a Second Time After a Deputy Offered to Call Him a Taxi
Leatham called 911 to ask for a ride home early in the morning on January 31. According to the criminal complaint, Leatham “cursed” at the emergency dispatcher who answered the call. The dispatcher provided Leatham with the non-emergency phone number to reach law enforcement “for future reference” and ended the call.
The deputy who prepared the complaint spoke with Leatham on the street after that first call. Leatham told the deputy that he had called 911 because he was looking for a ride home. The deputy wrote that he offered to call a taxi service for Leatham. But Leatham declined, citing that he didn’t have any money to pay for a cab.
Leatham started walking toward home, according to the criminal complaint. He then dialed 911 a second time and asked for someone to give him a ride home. The deputy watched this happen and wrote that he then “made contact with the offender while he was on the line with the 911 operator.” The deputy placed Leatham under arrest after observing that Leatham “was not having an emergency.”
According to the complaint, the deputy noted that Leatham appeared to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the arrest. As to whether drugs were involved, the deputy marked “unknown” in that section of the document. The deputy did not, however, note Leatham’s tattoo on the complaint.
2. Leatham Could Face Jail Time if Convicted for Misusing the 911 System
It’s illegal to call 911 in Florida when there is no need because doing so could distract responders from a real emergency. Leatham was charged with “misuse of the 911 system,” which is described in the Florida legal code:
911 and E911 service must be used solely for emergency communications by the public. Any person who accesses the number 911 for the purpose of making a false alarm or complaint or reporting false information that could result in the emergency response of any public safety agency; any person who knowingly uses or attempts to use such service for a purpose other than obtaining public safety assistance; or any person who knowingly uses or attempts to use such service in an effort to avoid any charge for service, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.
3. Leatham Was Also Charged for Marijuana Posession
According to the criminal complaint, the deputy found that Leatham was “in physical possession of under 20 grams of marijuana.” The deputy wrote that he field-tested the drug and found that it included THC. After Leatham had been read his Miranda rights, he “denied knowing what the substance was.”
Possession of small amounts of marijuana in Florida is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalties are steeper for larger amounts or if the defendant is convicted of selling or manufacturing the drug, as described in the state’s legal code.
4. Leatham Entered a ‘Not Guilty’ Plea & Was Released on His Own Recognizance
Leatham was arrested just before 4:30 a.m. on January 31. He spent one day in the Pasco County Jail before he was released around 7:30 p.m. on February 1.
Pasco County court records show Leatham was assigned a public defender. Leatham entered a written plea of “not guilty” on February 3. As of this writing, the record did not list a future court date.
5. Leatham Works as a Cook in Port Richey, According to the Criminal Complaint
Leatham, 22, lives in Hudson in Pasco County, according to the criminal complaint. The area is located on the Gulf of Mexico north of Tampa. The complaint listed that Leatham works as a cook at Catches, a seafood restaurant in Port Richey.