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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.

  • ShammaLammaDingDong

    I’m a native and grew up as a child going to the beach and visiting friends in their beach house with my parents. That was in the late 1970s. That house has since been torn down and replaced by some yuppie’s million dollar rental unit, and the friends I once had on the island are long gone. Sad to see what WB has become; from a nice, friendly community, to an elitist, exclusive club.

  • Challengetheworld

    This is why no locals want anything to do with this town which wants to close its walls and become a bubble. Their Police Department has few good folks left, many have horrific reputations and shady practices. However, this is how the town wants them. The entire community is controlled by the wealthy who want to have their cake and control it too. They have more crazy ordinances than any city in the state. Their noise ordinances are basically designed to generate revenue. FINALLY, we have some respectable drinking patrons who TAKE A CAB TO SAVE LIVES AND THE F&*^& Police Department finds something WRONG WITH THAT????? IMAGINE HOW MAN DRUNK DRIVERS THEY MISSED DEALING WITH THESE LAW ABIDING FOLKS. This town should be ashamed and that department is a disgrace to the Law Enforcement Honor Oath.

  • GuestUSMC

    Without a doubt, Wrightsville Beach is the most hostile, unfriendly place in the state of North Carolina. I have lived in the area for 34 years and can count the times I have ventured to WB on one hand. The locals don’t want anyone else there and I certainly respect their wishes.

  • radar

    I would encourage people to go to Topsail Island for a more friendly , tolerant and commom sense approach to beach visitors. As a northern New Hanover County , I choose to drive the extra miles for a less stress filled day. The two dollar parking is the greatest deterrent for me NOT visiting ” THEIR ” beach. I am a life long resident of New Hanover County for 43 years and I remember the bumper sticker that once stated ” welcome to WB now go home”. This sums up their mentality that it is a privelege to visit ” their ” beach. All they want is your taxpayer money to dredge and maintain
    “their ” beach and pave their roads. Many summers ago , I legally paid to park in a metered space at WB and one of their nasty arrogant residents told me it was trash pick up day and I could not park my car in a legally marked space because he wanted to leave his trash can in the metered space. I promptly removed the trash can after being cursed at as being a nuisance. As for the WB law enforcment officer , he appears to lack common sense for not allowing a taxi to transport a bar patron , who made the right decision not to drink and drive.

  • Guest757

    I have heard nothing but terrible stories regarding Wrightsville Beach Police. It’s like you give them a badge and gun and watch out( BARNEY).. I know they have a hard job with all the beach bars but they really need to learn how to speak to people. Maybe they should ALL have to be trained on relate to the public. Come on this is Wrightsville Beach NOT Chicago, South LA or NYC. but some of these police officers think they are God…

  • luvmywbpdleo

    Wrightsville Beach Cops act like power tripping glory dogs
    Always have been…..Always will……
    I’d rather go hang out with the pwt at Carolina Beach than get another ticket for going 36 in a 35…. Yes I’m seriouse..
    Wrightsville Beach Residents? Winderful!
    Wrightsville Beach Police? a gestapo subsidary….
    If they acted half as professional as WPD or New Hanover SHeriff Dept. did, then Wrightsville Beach would be a nice place to want to visit…
    But the gestapo there make it not even worth anyone’s time to try.

  • erik

    What sort of a pathetic life does this cop have! Sometimes people should think before they make their Napoleon complex obvious!

  • kenny

    They may want tourism but if the old addage that bad news spreads like wild fire is true, the Wrightsville Beach community will probably become a sleepy little village because not even the people from Wilmington will go there. I don’t go there often but took a friend down there to the beach that was visiting from out of state. She wanted to walk out to see the Atlantic ocean and that was fine with me until we got there. I found that now there is this outragouse parking fee just to be able to walk out on the beach for a few minutes. Out of anger I chose to drive her to Carolina beach where she enjoyed all of 30 minutes looking and admiring the beauty of our Atlantic shores. She will retire next year and was considering this area to relocate to and buy her home. She is still considering that move except that Wrightsville Beach is not one of her options. To bad Wightsville Beach.

  • RLP

    It’s been 30-years, Interesting that nothing has changed, The saying use to be Welcome to W/B “Now Leave” Their still a bunch of jerks, You could not pay me to cross that bridge because of it, In 1978 they wrote me a speeding ticket for 37 in a 35. Thankfully that did not lead me in to a life of crime although I was treated like a criminal.

  • Guest539

    This police officer must have been bored. I am sure they have better things to do, than ticket a cab driver for stopping. I guess he rather have people walking and driving drunk than to use a cab. Oh, that’s right, this is the same beach that handcuffs people to the flagpole when they run out of room inside. If they allow Britts to open up at Wrightsville Beach the police officers will at least have something to do besides give tickets for stopping in a spot not marked.

  • Local 51

    Like I have said more times than one, Put a gate on top of the bridge.Then let Wrightsville Beach try and survive without visitors. And they call it a family beach.It is a shame tax payers money has to be used for such.


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