ONLY ON 3: Why Tabor City Police always respond to Sen. Soles’s house

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Submitted: Thu, 04/28/2011 - 3:51am
Updated: Tue, 07/10/2012 - 12:59pm

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Former State Sen. R.C. Soles lives near Tabor City, but not “in” Tabor City. His sprawling estate is outside of the official city limits.

Yet whenever something happens at the house, Tabor City Police always respond, even though it’s technically out of their jurisdiction.

Why? Well, the answer to that question lies in the past. We learned today that former District Attorney Rex Gore set it up that way. When Soles has problems, he usually calls Tabor City Police Chief Donald Dowless directly on his cell phone. Soles rarely, if ever, dials 911.

But all that may be changing. We’ve also learned that District Attorney Jon David now wants the Columbus County Sheriff’s Department more involved when problems pop up at Soles’s house.


  • Just-Us says:

    I grow tired of people saying they know RC so well and that he’s a fine fellow. I bet these people are on the payroll or they only know RC in public. I’ve known RC in private. I reported it to doctors and police when they find out He’s involved they kicked me out and the reports vanished. Over 30 years waiting to see RC get what he deserves. Leave WWAY alone it’s called freedom of the press. It seems they are the only ones doing anything about it.

  • Hawaiifiveo says:

    ……book em danno…..

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    You keep telling us you can PROVE this and that. So do it. Stop crying about what the police do and don’t do and stand up and do something yourself. If you can PROVE the TCPD has dirty cops running around contact the S.B.I or the F.B.I and PROVE it.

  • Guest 25 says:

    Already done smarty pants.

  • Informed says:

    Actually there was another, Tommy Barnes. He is now the Deputy Chief of Lumberton Police Department and resign from Tabor City because of small town politics. In terms of his law enforcement career it was probably one of the best decision that he made. The chief your speaking of, Roy Norris, did not quit because of small town politics, he quit because of health conditions. He is now a civilian assistant for the detective division at the Columbus County Sheriff’s Department.

    I do agree with you on the rank. I think they hand it out like candy over there and you’d figured that the Chief of Police would be more prepared for court instead of showing up in an Hawaiian style shirt….

    As for the chief working for DMV, your correct, he did work and retire from NCDMV. He was a DMV Inspector, which are sworn law enforcement officers. They are the investigative wing of the DMV. Like the NC Highway Patrol they deal with Chapter 20 violations of the NC General Statues.

  • Guest 25 says:

    Alot of people have.

  • Guest3293 says:

    Okay, so you R.C. fans want the news media to leave him alone. Well, looks to me like it should begin with R.C. and his “young boys”. As long as they keep fighting, calling the police, and then not pressing charges on each other, THEY are keeping themselves in the public’s eyes. So don’t blame the news media or anyone else for R.C. and his “boys” acting like idiots and showing up in the news every week.

  • watching says:

    I totally agree with your statement.

  • watching says:

    I don’t know who you are and I could care less but you certainly don’t know what you’re talking about. If you’re referring to former police chief Roy Norris, you have your facts wrong. Norris might have graduated from the FBI Academy but he didn’t have the guption to get anything done. Remember the Chase Powell case in Whiteville? Roy Norris was the lead investigator and nothing was ever done until he left the Sheriff’s Dept. Norris is so low keyed he does not want to upset anyone. Why would he have his daughter be his secretary? That certainly wasn’t right. She quit and was given a going away party and then she decided to stay. Well, when she quit again, she was given another party. This is so ridiculous.

    As for the credentials of Chief Dowless, he is a receipant of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, he served in the military for 30 years, he retired from the State as DMV Investigator and he worked as a license examiner. I don’t know of anyone else who is so qualified for the job of TC Police Chief. Dowless is the best police chief Tabor City has had in a long time. Don’t even begin to rank him in the same class as Norris and Tommy Barnes. Barnes got his but kicked at Burger King in TC one night along with some of his police officers. Know your facts before you start talking because it is very apparent you know nothing correct about the Tabor City Police Department and its past and current officers.

  • watching says:

    You don’t know what in the heck you’re talking about. Roy Norris is the one you’re referring to that graduated from the FBI Academy. So what? He can’t find his way out of a paper bag. Whenever he was the lead detective in the Chase Powell case, nothing was ever done until Norris quit. As for Chief Donald Dowless, he is he receiptant of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, he served in the military for 30 years, retired from the state as DMV Investigator and he worked as a license examier. I don’t know of any other police chief who has credentials such as Dowless. Know what you’re talking about before you criticize others. You have the right to voice your opinion but be correct with the facts. Oh, yeah. Tommy Barnes and his officers got their butts kicked the the TC Burger King one night. I don’t call that being a good police chief.

  • watching says:

    Another point to make with you. You ever heard of a person working at a job and being given vacation or time off? Well Dowless is no different. I bet if you were summoned by a judge to be in court at a certain time, you wouldn’t take time to change your clothes either. Dowless does have a life beyond the police department.

    Just know your facts before you speak. Did RC pay you to write this? If not, did Rex Gore? Sounds like something they would do. Maybe Mitchel Tyler paid you to write the comment, right? In either case, you should be informed and not misinformed.

  • Guest 25 says:

    You know what is so amazing, the police press charges on people for assault,etc. but they never pressed charges on Soles for biting Frog and must I remind you Soles has already pleaded quilty for a similar charge—-this is a fact folks and can be proven over and over. Some of the TCPD are quite dirty, and I can prove that, as well. What we have here is a quagmire. Some of the Democrats and Republicans were trying to dethrone Soles and I dont disagree with that however, there tactics have hurt others who did not deserve it. Then, there is the police playing all sides of the fence. Everyone has there own agenda, goal, secret to keep hidden and those who want their secrets out. The fact is when the fit hits the sham, fit is going fly in alot of directions and it ain’t gonna be purty folks! There will be a price to pay for all who are involved and we know who you ARE!!!!!!!!! You can run but can not hide.

  • Just-Us says:

    I agree it has to end with RC. As far as the media is concerned the moment he became a senator he also became a media figure loosing the privilege of privacy. He knew that the 1st term and also his 42nd term. It makes you wonder what he was thinking when he allowed himself to get into this kinda mess in the 1st place. The really bad thing about this is Tabor City always had a bad reputation but with R.C.’s past and current activities the town will never recover from it. If the national news gets its hooks in this story, “which makes me wonder why they haven’t,” its all over for Columbus County. You guys better do like I did and get out while you can.

  • Guest of the where's my comment patrol says:

    My favorite is the comment about supporting RC to the up most. Where is that? On top of a flag pole maybe?

    She must be related to the guy who told me it’s a doggy dog world or the lady who said it doesn’t take a rock science to figure that out.

    Really, a rock science? That is just dumb.

    A doggy dog world? What’s the metaphor here?

    The up most? Are you sure you will support him to the up most?

    There are those who refer to the world’s largest retailer as Walmarts, as in, “I’m going to Walmarts, need anything?”

    Walmarts! You must be a rock science.

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    Well then I am guessing your PROOF was nothing more than your beliefs. If you have something other than your thoughts turn it over to WWAY and they will run with it.

  • foruwatching says:

    Yes we’ve heard of people having vacation time, however, if I were the chief of police and knew I had to be at court for such a high profile case, I WOULD HAVE ATLEAST CHANGED MY SHIRT!!!

  • Guest 25 says:

    Did you read the News Reporter, page 4A, PROOF?

  • Carol says:

    Tabor City is a big fat joke. Something is going on that isn’t being told. Is it the citizens right to know the story??? You bet it is. It is our tax dollars paying for all this BS police work. I don’t care if Soles is a fine man or not, someone needs to answer some questions or either the people in the polic department should be fired.

    The people that comment that these boys are just harrassing a former senator have their heads in the sand. SERIOUSLY??? This is a former Senator. If he was truly innocent the goverment would lock these boys up for 5 years without any problem and end this mess. These boys continue to harass a man that has never married and nothing is being done? Bite marks, shootings, pepper spray etc.

    Tabor City is the laughing stock of Columbus County and the southeast.

  • foruwatching says:

    WHO’S PAYING YOU???? You’re so quick to ask everybody whos paying them. Who was paying your nosey behind to run around this town playing detective when Frog’s house burned? Really????

  • GuestfromTC says:

    We had one person in the past qualified to be a chief in Tabor City (an FBI academy graduate, and former Capt. and Lead Homicide Investigator for Columbus County in the past), but he quit on his on terms because of the corruption and politics involved in Tabor City, and because of the Town Manager and the politicians telling him how he must do his job.

    The current Chief worked for the DMV. As for the rest of the TC officers they just slap a title of LT. or Detective regardless of experience. I have never seen a Police Chief show up for court in a Hawaiian type shirt! You would think he would have been in uniform or a suit. Embarrassing for TC.

  • Guest 25 says:

    They do not have to press charges on each other. The police do not hesitate charging others, this can be proven.

  • Hawaiifiveo says:

    That’s the Cheif’s “Don Hoe” shirt in case you didn’t know…..

  • waltfromraleigh says:

    I would just like to say that I have never witnessed such unusual activity that happened in your court house on Monday afternoon. I personally can not understand why your Town Manager is letting such scandall behavior continue. I have lived in Tabor City and I would like to inform the readers that there is bad in every town and every county. However, that doesn’t mean we should let it continue. We sometimes have to start at the bottom and clean out the bad guys and I would think this is where Mr. AL LEONARD needs to step up to the plate and clean up his POLICE DEPARTMENT. And I agree with the comment that NO, there should not be another trial. Such a waste of tax payers money in a poverty stricken county. A mistrial is just that! Blame the police department.

  • Guestzzzzz says:

    FIRE the tabor city police chief and give the job to someone who will put the dept and citizens first instead of putting soles first….

  • foruwatching says:

    Thanks wway for posting this comment, but what about the other 10 I tried to post yesterday???

  • watching says:

    You need to keep your comments in Raleigh and your nose out of the Town Manager’s business. Did RC pay you to write this article. Maybe you are a relative of his. Seems he does have a sister and broher in law up that way. I want to know something. What did you do on any given day in the summer and fall of 2009? Who did you talk to on that day. What have you done sine then? In essence, this is what you’re saying the TCPD needs to do. Have you ever made a mistake or forgotten something? Maybe you started a project and someone else came along and took over for you. Are you supposed to know everything that person did from the time they started the project? Chief Dowless was letting his officer do his job and then the job was handed over to the SBI to conduct an investiation. None of the TCPD did wrong. Frog is innocent until proven guilty. If he set fire to his house, I hope he is convicted. A lot of the evidence seems to point that way. If he’s guility, I hope he is imprisoned. He was given the house and he knew he had insurance on it. If he burned it, he would have been stupid to have done so. Somthing’s not being told in this case. I hope all stones are unturned and the truth revealed.

  • foruwatching says:

    REALLY, “watching” its so obvious why you’re so easy to defend this pathetic excuse for a cop! Everybody knows the background here in Tabor City, for some reason wway wants to not post my comments about the truth, but dont worry……Tabor City Citizens know who you are and why you’re defending his sorry a** so stop making yourself look stupid!

  • cheyenne soles says:

    let me tell you, ive seen and heard all the bs about RC SOLES and FROG until im fed up with it. Im a lady and I will tell you to this day i am a hard working person and I give all the up most respect to mr. soles. He has helped me many times before and sometimes still does. Allen is just a teenager and has had a rough life growing up. Just as i have, we have never had a mother or father figure growing up. we have always had a grandmother that busted her butt to do everything she could for us to raise us. Leave them alone! Dont judge a book by its cover because you dont know whats really going on, on the inside until you take the time to quit running your mouths and ask the person yourself. Not everyone’s lives are all the same, much less perfect in the least. so for all yall that wants to talk about someone else and the way they live, think before you speak. It is ruining my family with all this drama. Frog has done his wrong and so have I and everybody else. LET IT REST!!!!!! I love you frog, your my little brother and I will always be by your side for anything

  • watching says:

    You sure have the nerve to talk about someone whenever you were on the news stating that RC wanted to hurt your brother. You seem to forget that RC Soles referred to you as someone who has head problems. How sound we forget. Go back and review WWAY TV 3’s coverage of Frog’s house being burned. It’s on there. As far as your grandmother, I think she benefited from RC Soles too. Don’t poor mouth. Your brother would probably be alive today if he had not associated with RC. Do you want your children to be around RC Soles? I wouldn’t think you would because you know what kind of monster he is. Your mother is to blame too. She should have raised you and Frog instead of leaving it to your grandmother.

    You want to bash other people. Clean up your own door step before you go criticing others. Don’t defend RC Soles. All he has caused your family is grief.

  • forudoris says:

    How heartless are you to talk about this girls poor dead grandma? But you’re a Christian right? We all know where you’ll be going!

  • Guest11221 says:

    But isn’t it strange to you that all of his issues are with young men. I have not seen or heard about any ladies trespassing on his property. I have not seen or heard of any older men trespassing on his property. It has been young men! That is plain creepy. Where there is smoke there is fire. I wonder what would be found if computers were looked at.

  • jimbob says:

    I agree with you. I have often wondered if the TCPD maybe stretching it a little just to get media attention themselves. After the mistrial of Frog it is obvious our wonderful CHIEF DOWLESS loves attention and doesn’t matter in what shape or form he gets it. You would think he could have worn his uniform to court on Monday. If all that is happening you would think his neighbor which I want to believe is an attorney at the MCGOUGAN LAW FIRM would be really fed up and would be making complaints himself. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

  • watching says:

    You are quick to criticize Chief Dowless, well I’m not. Chief Dowless has a job to do like anyone else and he does have the right to take time off. Just because he was in civilian clothes doesn’t mean he can’t testify in court. When summoned to court by a presiding judge to be ready to testify at a certain time, I don’t thnk Chief Dowless was worried about his uniform and you wouldn’t be either in you had been in his shoes. As for Dennis Worley being RC’s neighbor, why don’t you ask him how many times he has had to tell RC to keep his trash on his side of the fence. I’m sure Worley was concerned for his wife and daughters and didn’t want either one to be harmed when he wasn’t at home. Your comments come from someone who is speaking through their butt. Know the facts. RC Soles is trouble, always has been and he loves to have his sick fun with these boys. And another thing. Why don’t you identify yourself instead of picking a name everyone in TC knows. Jim Bob would never write such trash as you’ve written. You must be one of RC’s boys.

  • columbus county citizen says:

    I Just wonder if any of these boys run thru RC’S neighbors house when they are running from our famous TCPD. WHO IS HIS NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR? All the commotion you would think they would hear something. JUST SAYIN…

  • QueerEye says:

    We can’t hold Al to bear. He is drivimg RC’s old Mercedes Benz now. They are close pals, but he and Rex Gore are totally innocent of any wrong doing. You know that, right? And Frog? Well, he’s just a misunderstood young man who was mistreated by Senator Soles. You believe all this right? Sure, its the truth. I swear on Frog’s home owners policy and BJ Wrights bank account!!

  • WilmingtonMAJ says:

    They might as well set up a satellite office at his house…would save money in the long run!

  • Guest-of-the-day says:

    confine said criminals AT Soles house. They like being there so much anyways, just turn one room of his house into a jail and make him the warden… or is that like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop?

  • AMNESIA says:

    …and let Greg Fibbett be the manager….well maybe not…he would FORGET how to get their and FORGET what to do…

  • watching says:

    Don’t blame Chief Dowless for answering the phone when RC Soles called him. Soles knows he intentionally left his home out of the town limits. Residents in his area besides Dennis Worley should be furious because Soles is asking for TCPD protection but doesn’t want to pay the town taxes. Shame on him.

    Put the blame where it belongs…not with Dowless but with Soles. Soles does not want the entire county to know what he and his boys do that causes the police to be called at all times of the night. Let Sheriff Batten and his officers handle the calls from Soles. Maybe this will cut down on some of the deputies from doing things on work time that they shouldn’t be doing…..

  • April says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I believe the ONLY reason this “agreement” was made for him to call the police chief was so that there would be no official 911 recording of any calls. This is a perfect example of the good ol’ boy way of life that many people expect in small Southern towns. It also goes to show people that the more money you have the more you can get away with. Let you or me or any other everyday citizen be accused of the crap that Mr. Soles has been accused of & we’d probably still be sitting in the jail.

  • Doris A. Strickland says:

    I don’t know who you are that wrote this comment, but if you aren’t man enough or woman enough to display your identity, then don’t try to imply that you are me. I am can for myself.

    Chief Donald Dowless is my friend and I do respect him and the TCPD greatly. I don’t care who criticizes them, they had done an excellant job under the circumstances of having a former state senator and his group of boys acting stupid at all times of the day and night. I am not a fan of RC Soles and I do think he is the cause of all of the problems. A person is innocent until proven guilty and Frog should be given a fair trial. My thoughts on this matter is my business. So, if you want to speak for yourself, then do so and don’t try to identify yourself with me or anyone else.

  • DorislvsRonnie says:

    Good thing Mr. Soles had my other bf’s number on speedial or else we might not have as much to read about because one of these little fellas might be dead by now!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    …they’re the Tabor City Police Department and R.C. Soles’ private security force.

    That may have been appropriate when he was a state senator, but it is clearly IN-appropriate now. Let him call 911 like the rest of the peasants.

  • Happy Days says:

    …compliments of Al “Capone”Leonard (TC Town Manager/Chief Dowless Boss).

  • Lindbergh baby says:

    The statue of Justice isn’t blindfolded for equality, it’s because she’s ashamed.

    Now that Soles is a private citizen, things need to change.

    The constant soap opera with the “gang of four” needs to see the light of full disclosure.

    Maybe, just maybe, the Columbus Sheriff’s Department has the professionals to put this matter to rest.

    When these people call the authorities, and make statements, the full weight of the law should be brought to bear, and maybe the truth will come out.

    Maybe all this has continued for so long because “Rex Gore set it up that way.”

  • Guest5678 says:

    If you lived in Columbus County, you would know that waiting on the Sheriff’s Department to respond is like waiting on the price of gas to go below $2.00/gallon. It may never happen. Also, what can you expect when the Columbus County Sheriff’s Department gets there. I bet you 90% of them would be considered obese. Just look at the example our Sheriff sets. Boss Hawg himself!

  • WONDER WOMAN says:

    GUEST5678 I give you a HIGH FIVE on that one. In the community here in CC where I live there must be 5 Columbus County Sheriff’s. However, does that make me feel safe? Why h**l no! And as far as Boss Hawg goes I believe the books need to be checked to see how much of the taxpayers money paid for the trip to Hawaii!

    TIP: You better hope that person is not friends with The Hawg himself

  • off the cuff says:

    Is this all the news your station has?? Really, nothing newsworthy today at all. How about some good news situations for a change.

    Anway, since the beginning of law enforcement, small town departments have responded sometimes to close situations because of the slow response time for agencies whose officers are farther away. Some jurisdictions even have a 1 mile extra-territorial jurisdiction by mandate of law and at least two towns in NC have an extended 3-mile jurisdiction for response to calls of crimes in progress such as these are usually.

    What would you do? Have someone badly injured or killed while waiting on Sheriff’s officers who may be 15, 30, 45 or more minutes away? Would you want an officer a mile or two away or less to come assist you even if you were outside their jurisdiction and you were in bad need of their assistance?

    Sometimes, when the news media beats things into a frenzy as all the incidents have been exploited by them to sell ads because of ratings, these things get blown out of proportion. This is all done for the “glory headlines” and hoping it sells ad space on their news site and for their station….a money making venture.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to the safety of the public. All agencies render aid to one another in emergency responses and have for years and most likely will continue to do so. In rural areas it is almost essential just for the safety of the officers as well who are so spread out sometimes.

    Come on WWAY, find something new to harp about. I, for one, am tired of hearing about this every week or more.

  • wonder woman says:

    Undoubtedly you must be like the rest of the crooked no good people we have representing this poor county or you would be fed up with the bs that goes on here. GET A LIFE!!! And if you don’t like what is posted it’s really simple. DON’T READ IT!!!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    Mutual sssistance is often rendered, but not by calling the police chief on his cellular phone! That totally circumvents any agreement of mutual assistance. The sheriff’s office doesn’t even know that the call has been made! They might have a deputy two-miles up Old Stake Road!

    Don’t try to defend the indefensible. This is good ol’ boy corruption at its best, and you know it! Everybody else on Miriam or Lakewood has to call 911, but Creepy Old Guy gets to call the chief directly?

  • Guesttoo says:

    Sure, if it’s a true life-or-death emergency, you’d want help…within jurisdiction or not. That goes for any emergency service. But what if a tax-paying citizen of Tabor City has an issue and the TC police are outside the city limits on another call? Who gets priority? A citizen that lives outside the city limits and pays no taxes to support the local police or the town resident that does? TC residents pay city taxes to take care of someone who gets the benifit but not the bill?

  • ColCor Watcher says:

    Just a correction on your assertion that the ETJ has ANYTHING to do with crime control and public safety. It doesn’t! ETJ only has to do with zoning and planning so that the future growth corridor of a given city “looks” like the city wants it to as it grows. It was done in response to the fact that most counties did NOT have planning and zoning.
    Law enforcement is directly tied to tax revenues of the citizens that live within the jurisdiction of the town/city limits.
    Again, ETJ is an excuse the sheriff should be providing law enforcement coverage at this private home that doesn’t pay city taxes. And the fine senator should be calling 911 for the fastest response rather than personal cell phones. The Tabor City police are NOT his private army.
    If a patrolman or deputy were closer to the scene, 911 operators would be able to dispatch the fastest response, not the “personal” assistant RC wants to deal with situations largely of his own making.

  • Just-Us says:

    Yah’ll just let Boss Hog know that Bo and Luke Duke are on their way. Now all we need is the General Lee and Uncle Jessie to complete the cast.

  • AMNESIA says:


  • guesty says:

    What about Daisy Duke? Don’t you dare suggest froggie wear some short shorts! Maybe Jenelle or party girl Randi could fill that part.

  • Disgusted says:

    Frankly the majority of people are fed up with all that is going on. Let Mr. soles, Frog and all the others alone. It is sad when a person can not have a private life. Would you want everybody digging into your closet? Mr. Soles earned his money. He did not receive welfare, food stamps, medicaid nor did he have time to stand on the street corner all day and wait for the third of the month to roll around. And to all who have already crucified Frog, he is innocent until proven guilty. Come to court the next time and listen to the evidence. Then you can make up your own mind. Remember television and newspapers have to sell their goods. There is always two sides to every story.

  • AMNESIA says:

    Frankly the majority of the people are not fed up with all thats going on, because WWAY would not report it, and all these comments would not be printed.

  • Guest555 says:

    Hear, hear!

    I’ve known RC nearly all my life, and he’s a fine man, and I’m tired of the media coverage of his difficulties.

    These young men were helped by RC, and they show their ingratitude by harrassing him for more money.

    And like so many people have said on this post, Soles has helped lots of people–poor people in and around Columbus County.

    Good God! Let’s move on to another topic rather than wallow in tabloid mud.

  • Just-Us says:

    That sounds good to me! I know some place safe for to stay, RC’s. Nobody will touch her their.

  • foruDoris says:

    Trust me we DO KNOW how much you respect Donald Dowles. And can you please explain to me what “I am can for myself” means because I dont exactly understant that statement. And you know these sorry a** cops obviously arent doing such a great job or they wouldnt be under investigation right now….and by the way, bf stands for boyfriend, not bestfriend. Thanks, and God Bless!Oh, yea and I would be glad to identify myself, but i’ve got my reasons for not doing so right now and I promise its not because im intimidated….k thanks!

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