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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — He was trying to pick up a woman who needed a ride but instead he got a ticket for stopping on the side of the street. Cab driver Gary Nolt said he was just doing his job early Saturday morning when he was picking up customers in Wrightsville Beach. Nolt said he had just turned on Lumina Avenue when a drunk bar patron, needing a ride home, jumped into his cab.

“Up a little bit further the girl I had just picked up said this is her girlfriend,” said Nolt. “This time I pulled over cause I had enough time to pullover.”

That’s when Nolt said a Wrightsville Beach police officer came up to his window and demanded that his customers get out.

“He told her to remove from the vehicle because he was to deal with me on his own. She told him straight out that she wasn’t going to leave,” said Nolt. “He (officer) said if she (customer) did not get out of the vehicle he was going to write her up for public intoxication.”

Wrightsville Beach Police did not say much due to the fact that the incident is still pending. The department did say that Nolt was in violation of town ordinance 74.15, which prohibits parking or standing on any town property that is not clearly designated for parking purposes. The police department said Nolt should have picked up his customers at one of two designated pick up areas on the island.

Nolt said his fellow drivers do not often pick people up at Wrightsville Beach because of ordinances like 74.15. He feels like it’s already hard for his customers to find a cab when they are unable to drive, and many Wrightsville Beach locals agree with Nolt.

“For a town that needs it’s tourism and people to come down and spend their money and generate revenue they really don’t make it all that possible,” said resident Jonathen Randolph.

As for the citation, Nolt found his last name was misspelled on the ticket and the wrong date was written down. According to the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office a wrong date on a ticket can convince some judges to drop it. Nolt though did not receive an ordinary traffic ticket; he received a civil citation which does not leave him much legal room to fight the fine.

Comment on this Story

  • Turn Right Safely

    The bend where the Cab Driver stopped forces Traffic to go around him. When you have intoxicated People crossing the street at this location (and hundreds of them do), during the night hours, then you get Fatalities. So on one hand the Cops get blamed for Correcting the Problem but on the other hand the Cops would get blamed if someone dies, for not Correcting the Problem…. Sheeesh… I will tell you one thing.. Wrightsville Beach is secure and a safe place to have a night out, because the Police are on their A-Game.

  • Guest_informed

    Just another sad story from the horrible police force of Wrightsville Beach. They have got to be the worst cops I’ve ever seen. They’ll write you a speeding ticket for going 36 in a 35, as one person already stated in these comments. They will pull you and ticket you for just about anything. You have a red Porsche? I’ve heard stories of people riding over the W.B. bridge in fancy sports cars, who were IMMEDIATELY pulled and were told “we’re watching you.” It’s pathetic. Lighten up already. You’re a beach town, you need the tourism, like it or not. I still can’t believe the W.B. board is wanting to reduce the amount of parking. REDUCE? Are you serious? Parking provides a HUGE amount of revenue for W.B. What are these people thinking?

  • Sandytoes

    It just hit me….We can change this (ordinance/policy/whatever) in November at the Polls. Two year terms for Mayors.

  • A MOM

    As a mom, who often has gone to WB to pick up countless kids (who were not all my own)I will have to agree with some of the statements that have been made in regards to “rules” that seem to be “having your cake and eating it too”.

    Many times I have had my window knocked on by officers who are in the streets….”you will have to move mam….you will have to park mam…”

    I politely respond, “I am “loading” up kids who need a ride home, it is hard to get a cab here at the beach.” I am usually in my PJ’s and probably have a threatening look all of my own!

    Now, what is the goal here…..give out citations to those who are taking kids home (cab drivers/others)…. or silently encourage/force these kids to drive….or spend their money elsewhere…

    By the way….when I pick up downtown….I have had officers come to my window and say “Thanks”!

  • Guest461

    …but his legacy and reputation continue strong and lively with the WBPD! I don’t normally criticize LEO’s, but these clowns beg for it with incidences like this!!!

    I never thought I would find ANY worse than WalMart security. I was wrong, here it is!

  • Guest322332

    Imagine that, WB cops being trivial. My favorite part is threatening someone who is trying to get home safely with a ticket for public intoxication if they did not comply. They were in a cab, trying to go home. It’s no wonder WB has the reputation it does- the cops there are all on power trips.

  • Rosegarden

    Cab companies are businesses, and they are in business to make a profit. They can refuse to go to Wrightsville Beach and should, why should they be fined for operating their business, which in this case, could be life-saving? Let the community deal with it. When WB starts losing money, they will figure it out.
    Also, how is it “parking” when he doesn’t get out of the vehicle? Every where else this is called “loading”. Do they have quotas in WB? It IS the end of the month.

  • Wrongsville Beach

    Those that go to Wrightsville Beach can expect the Barney Fife types to be looking for any and every reason to use their ticket books as a source of revenue.

    I would much rather have the drunks that don’t know when to stop drinking to be able to crawl into a cab than behind the wheel…

  • Guest36599874

    Next time don’t let the cabbie drive drunks home. Let them get behind the wheel of the car and kill someone instead. that would be so much better than breaking a town ordinance. And the name and date were wrong on the ticket? Exactly who was publicly intoxicated? sounds like the man in blue was spending a little time in the bars himself.

  • guesty

    I guess officer “Richard head” was having a bad night and wanted some company.

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