The anonymous caller would always say the same thing to the people on the other end: "Please help before I rape the baby."
Now local investigators are crediting intense police work as well as "good luck of the draw"
in the apprehension late Thursday of Donald Allen Davis, 47, who is accused of making threatening prank calls for years to public agencies across the nation
from Hamilton County pay phones.
"Luckily we were able to play his game and catch up to him," Chattanooga police Lt. Kim Noorbergen said Friday.
His criminal history shows arrests in Florida and Colorado for "obscene communications and harassing phone calls" with at least 23 different charges from 1982 to 1995.
Police removed a 2-year-old from Mr. Davis' residence during his arrest Thursday night, but say there is no evidence the child ever has suffered from sexual abuse.
Then investigators caught a break after staking out several pay phones across the city to where the calls had been traced.
During one of the stakeouts, someone drove up and made a call from a pay phone at the Family Dollar on Willow Street, Lt. Noorbergen said.
Police traced the vehicle tags to Mr. Davis, made an undercover recording of his voice and compared it to the voice of the person who had made a call to a Pennsylvania business from the Family Dollar pay phone on the same day and time Mr. Davis' car was there.