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.