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ONLY ON 3: Attorney & wife's run-in with trooper leads to letter to Gov. Perdue

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Attorney & wife's run-in with trooper leads to letter to Gov. Perdue
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Raleigh attorney is making some big accusations against a Highway Patrol trooper here in New Hanover County.

Hoyt Tessener says the trooper accused his wife of driving drunk, but that's just the start of the accusations that Tessener made in a nine-page letter to the Gov. Bev Perdue.

Read Tessener's letter to Gov. Perdue

The Highway Patrol is investigating the allegations against Tpr. Edward Wyrick Jr. What's also interesting is all the people Tessener sent it to.

Tessener also sent the letter to Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, Attorney General Roy Cooper, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger, along with area representatives and senators like Thom Goolsby. Tessener even sent the letter to the District Attorney's office and the Highway Patrol.

In the letter Tessener describes an incident last week involving his wife Gina, who was returning to a friend's home in Wrightsville Beach after leaving a North Carolina Advocates for Justice gala in downtown Wilmington.

Hoyt Tessener says Wyrick pulled Gina Tessener over just before the Wrightsville Beach bridge. In the letter Tessener says the trooper said he pulled her over because one of her head lights did not work. The trooper then accused Gina of drinking when she had not.
   
Gina refused to do a field sobriety test because she was in heels and a dress and in a gravel parking lot. Wyrick arrested the mother of three and took her to the Wrightsville Beach Police Department for a breath test

According to court documents Gina Tessener passed not just one but two breath tests by blowing a 0.00 each time.

In the letter Hoyt Tessener, who came to the police department to be with his wife, says he thought his wife would be free to go. Tessener said Wyrick yelled at both he and his wife at the police department. Tpr. Wyrick, who Tessener says seemed upset Gina did not fail the breath test, explained that she would have to be taken downtown where only a magistrate can release here.
    
Hoyt says before following the trooper, who still had his wife in custody, he noticed Wyrick texting someone on his phone.

During the trip toward downtown another trooper pulled over Hoyt Tessener, who suspects he was set up by Wyrick. The second trooper let Tessener go after some questioning.
 
Tessener eventually figured out his wife was not downtown, but instead at the New Hanover County Jail in Castle Hayne.

Tessener says the magistrate at the jail asked his wife if she understood what she did wrong. The letter says Gina Tessener told the judge she did nothing wrong and did not understand why she was arrested in the first place.

In the end Gina Tessener's citation was thrown out for lack of probable cause.

An internal investigation is underway as Wyrick remains on duty.

We reached out to several people including the Tesseners, Gov. Perdue and Tpr. Wyrick himself, but we have yet to get in touch with any of them.

UPDATE: Tuesday evening WWAY received an e-mail from Hoyt Tessener, who apologized for not returning our calls earlier today.

"I wanted to give the SHP the opportunity to investigate," Tessener wrote. "Despite what we went through, I wanted to speak with the SHP first. We heard from SHP at 4 p.m. today. We plan to speak with interal affairs officers tomorrow... I am disappointed to learn that Trooper Wyrick remains on active duty... I am curious to learn about their investigation."

Also, first thing Tuesday morning WWAY requested the dashcam video from Wyrick's car. The Highway Patrol says his car is not equipped with a video camera.

 

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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United Police States of America

Wise up, people. We live in a police state, and it's getting worse all the time. Homeland security, TSA, nazi-like LEOs, you get the picture. If you think the government (local, state, federal) is here to protect you, you are wrong. Government exists to protect itself and grow bigger. That people are duped into thinking otherwise is shameful, but there comes a time when the sheeple need to wake up and start taking back the liberty that's been eroded away by indifference and non-action. Stand up against encroachment on your freedom.

This is crumbling

around the Tesseners' ears.

In his letter, Mr. Tessener states his wife was wearing an evening dress. An evening dress is typically ankle length or slightly longer.

In the video from the magistrate's location, she is clearly wearing a cocktail dress which is slightly more than knee length. And those shoes are hardly high heels.

What a tangled web the attorney weaves, when he seeks to deceive.

When all the dust settles, I hope the NC State Bar will step in ajnd investigate the actions of Mr. Tessener.

investigation? right?

Let me tell you a short story. A trooper was accussed of harrassing my wife and I got a letter from a "colonel" that said it was under investigation and they would make findings and deal with it accordingly" They moved him a county over for a while and then back. It will be a bad day. And to add to the incompentence of our Governor, one of the nice troopers you see on the side of gas pumps telling you not to drive off, has had some fidelity issues of her own. You really need to go back. In the banking business we call this an external audit.

Trooper

It is obvious that Trooper Wyrick is a pig in the fullest sense of the word. There is no excuse for his behavior and anything short of termination would be an affront to the people of North Carolina.

Unbelievable

Okay, let me start by saying I know Wyrick and have never seen him yell at anyone. But of course, this poor little attorneys wife felt threatened! Sounds like if anyone got set up here it was the Trooper. I guarantee her husband has told her numerous times that if shes pulled after drinking not to do anything, GOOD FOR HIM...BUT look where that got her. Maybe she's just getting the publicity she wanted and her few minutes of fame. And then she and her husband talk about her being handcuffed! When have you ever seen someone go into a police car with them? It's policy everywhere that I know of that if you arrest someone they go in handcuffs. Oh and the law was followed by him being allowed to view the test, but when thats over its time to leave the holding area. Sounds like someone thought they could do what they wanted and didn't want to leave. Well...when a officer tells you that you gotta leave, guess what, you gotta go.

Also, I want the investigators to talk to people at the event and I bet they find she had consumed some amount of alcohol. Oh, and everyone that keeps saying she blew .00, you can consume alcohol and blow .00. Alcohol does leave your body over time and if she was drinking earlier shes going to have the odor even if she blows .00. Also, she said she felt unsteady on her feet due to her attire...Wouldn't that make someone think she was impaired if shes staggering around in heels? All she had to do is blow into the alcosensor road side and this would have never happened. She wouldn't even have had to take a sobriety test. And to the Einstein husband/attorney that wants to know why she had to blow twice if the first was a .00, thats what the state requires! WOW look what i just learned. Maybe you should stick to your injury laws and not traffic. Thats why you sit behind a desk taking peoples money and then go home at 5 while LEO are out there in the streets risking their lives so that you sleep safe at night. Get a life!!!

you get a life

Whats unbelievable this stuff happens in NH County all the time, She obviously was innocent, she wasn't intoxicated and yes they risk their lives and are appreciated but a badge doesn't give you the right to abuse the power given to you by the people for the people, they themselves are not above the law and also have rules to follow. When i served the people in federal law enforcement I would never dream of doing some of the things I have observed and heard of in NH county its a disgusting example of the use of authority and it makes me cringe.

Never mind the fact that he

Never mind the fact that he didn't even have probable cause to pull her over.

Trooper

Unbelievable, Obviously you think it's ok for LEOs to break the law. When the Federal guys arrest this trooper, lets see what they can charge him with. False Imprisonment (arrest,) conspiricy to falsely arrest her husband, obstruction of justice, violatiion of civil rights under First, fourth and fourteenth amendment. How can anyone condone this behavior. We can thank Ben David that saw to it that after Christopher Long and the New Hanover Sherrifs murdered Peyton Strickland the grand jury got loaded with fellow deputys. I want to know who the Magistrate was the night of the arrest. He should be charged as well.

There is a long compicated

There is a long compicated process a Magistrate must complete if the Magistrate feels there is probable cause,,the Magistrate found no probable cause and released her...whats to investigate?? Everyone seems to miss there are 2 sides to this..DUI..can be charged without alcohol...medication or drugs can impair..i bet if you checked the driving record of those that jump to punish the SHP,,you'd find convictions on most..the troopers did their job,,both were let go. Sometimes royality just dont like being treated the same as the non fancy clubbers!

Dui Laws

Looks like a dashboard cam might have been helpful in this case. Anyway, I can empathize with this woman's situation in that I don't drink and drive. I don't have any experience with being pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence. I too would have found the situation absurd but our society has mandated a zero tolerance for driving under the influence. It's getting to where I don't even want to leave my house. I don't choose to fly anymore unless I absolutely have to. I don't like all the hassle with the TSA screening etc. No I'm not saying the screening is unnecessary but I just choose to avoid it if I can. How do you strike a fair balance between safety and infringing on peoples rights?

If a LEO officer pulls me over, I must comply with the law. It's just that I don't have any experience with being tested for DUI and I would have no idea what to expect. I would hope the officer would understand my lack of knowledge about the procedure as just that, and not that I was trying to be difficult and insolent. I didn't know that if I refused a roadside test, I would be put in handcuffs and taken to a police station. Good to know, I will never refuse one now!

Here's a good question..

I wonder who Mr. Tessener is going to write an 8 page complaint to when he becomes publicly humiliated and embarrassed when the Highway Patrol proves that, Mr. Tessener, is indeed, a liar. Who are you going to go cry to then? Are you going to write another letter to all the officials saying that you have been made a mockery of and you feel as though you have been attacked by the ENTIRE Highway Patrol? Are you going to tell them that you felt threatened and frightened for your life? And you felt as though everyone was slandering your name? All of which was brought to the "people of power's" attention by you, Mr. Tessener, you of which have lied and lied over and over again. You should have thought about the consequences of what you were doing before you even began coming up with this bogus story. I can't wait for Highway Patrol to laugh in your face. And it will happen. Just wait. At this point, a simple apology will not suffice for your wrongdoing. Too bad you didn't have the common sense to think the situation out entirely before trying to make huge, inaccurate accusations. Did you not think that IA would investigate? Do you honestly believe that they don't already have copies of visuals and audio from the police department? Get real. You're just a power hungry lawyer trying to cover up his own ignorance. Find a new profession.

Last time I checked, SHP

Last time I checked, SHP didn't have cages in their patrol cars therefore his wife, "the prisoner" would have been transported in the front seat of the troopers car not the back seat as his complaint stated. This appears to be a one-sided story and while WWAY tried to get a comment from the trooper and SHP it is a personnel matter therefore they obviously can't comment. I find it hard to believe that everyone this man and his wife encountered that night was rude, intimidating, yelling and screaming. After all, if you can't get along with one person, it might be them. If you can't get along with anyone (tropper 1, trooper 2, sheriff's deputy at the jail and the magistrate too) its probably you!!! Also, as an attorney he should know that once you arrest someone, you can't "unarrest" them therefore, Gina would need to go before a magistrate so the magistrate could declare no probable cause.

Interview vs letter

I read the entire letter and sat and watched a video interview with the Tesseners. A lot of the statements that Gina made in the interview did not align with what the letter stated that she said. Whoever was doing the interview did not ask questions like one would expect. She was using the letter as the questions. When it appeared either of the the Tesseners drew a blank, the interviewer would feed some information from the letter. Still, with the letter being the base of the interview, the story they told did not match the letter. It leaves me wondering.

Bad job performance...

this officer's behavior in this situation is horrible. he should be releaved of his job immediately. do the right thing govenor bev and ask for his resignation.

WWAY..... please do a follow up....

..... on what "implied consent" means as far as the DMV and how that applies to roadway safety. Also see if you can get your hands on that 9 page letter..... would love to see the spin on this.

To save the suspense "implied consent" means that when you signed your name in the box at the DMV Drivers License Office you "gave consent" to be tested based on suspicion of impaired driving by a law enforcement officer.

If you refuse an alco-sensor test on the side of the road... which she did,
and you refuse to do field sobriety tests..... which she did,
then based on the odor alone, time of day etc..etc... the Officer has the right, maybe even an obligation, to take you for further testing if he/she reasonably believes you are impaired.

The fact of whether or not this woman was impaired is later determined in court, not on this forum and in this case, since no probable cause was determined this is a null point so lets stop focusing on that. To be clear if Trooper Wyrick violated any rights, misapplied the law, used his position to "intimidate" this power couple from the big city of Raliegh then the NCSHP will deal with it and I will back thier decision fully. I am sure Ole Bev Perdue will want a report ASAP as to whether a financial campaign donor's rights were violated. He made that clear by writing a 9 page letter to Bev stating his demands.

Simply put, this "beautiful blonde", as some of you have put it, talked herself into going to the WBPD for testing and after "proving herself innocent after arrest" (dumb move) was taken to the magistrate for a finding of No Probable Cause.

I bet.... even though they appear to be attention starved and media hungry, and appear to know everyone in the State of NC thats needs to be known..... that after all that she wishs she would have just blown 0.00 on the side of the road and enjoyed the rest of her wonderful vacation here at the beach with only a warning ticket for having a headlight out. Way to prove your point lady.

Just watching the interview on the news tonight proved my suspicions as to the arrogant, pompass, self gratifying personalities of this beautiful couple (the husband especially snobby) and I would imagine that attitude came out very early on during the initial stop and continued throughout the entire encounter.

Again congratulations on being arrested during your vacation.....might want to get that headlight fixed though, would hate to see a repeat in Wake Co. Believe me, with this couple on the prowl this could have occurred anywhere in the state.

Oh and again WWAY please do that story..... seems to be a lot of confusion out there as to whether its a right or a privilage to drive on our roadways.

state trooper

Is the state tropers realy needed when we allready have local and county leos. maybe one day perdue will wake up and see just how bad this deal with the highway patrol is makeing her look. She would put her food down and shut down the highway patrol for good. look how much money the state would save.if a complant is made on a state troper in nc he or ahe should be fired on the spot no second chance. this would stop alot of the bs for good

Trooper Wyrick

I happen to know Trooper Wyrick and he is an honest, soft spoken Highway Patrolman. He is respected by the citizens of New Hanover County. The law is clear: If you refuse a sobriety test, you go to jail. That has to be carried out, whether officers, or citizens, approve. If I were sober, I would be smart enough to take a sobriety test. And I don't know of any gravel roads on, or around, Wrightsville Beach. Does anyone else? The only reason to refuse is: (1) you have been drinking and are afraid of being arrested, or (2) You think that you are above the law. Since she blew a(n) 0.0, we all know which category she fits into !We have an outstanding group of Highway Patrolmen here in New Hanover County. I would stake my life on these guys and their ability to keep our streets safe. As a matter of fact, we do, every day. Thank you, Eddie Wyrick, and all of the New Hanover County Highway Patrolmen for all you do!
Sincerely,
Sharon Darity

Sharon really?

If he was so great he should know a sober person from a drunk one?
With all his experience and training you would think he could tell?
Sorry that you feel so safe with the "Highway Patrolmen" but that will change if you ever get stopped for a minor traffic ticket and get the treatment that most people get.. Guess you are one of the lucky ones!!!!

Sharon Darity

Actually, looks like she fits into a 3rd category (3) you know objective testing is smarter than subjective testing when dealing with small-town officers. This officer clearly was looking for something that wasn't so ("smell of alcohol") and she was smart enough to know it. Waiting for an actual objective test as opposed to a subjective test was the right call in this case. Should be a lesson to all of us that need to deal with small-town officers. Their "word" against yours is a terrible place to be in. That's great that you "know" this trooper personally but have you ever had to deal with him in a "non-friend" situation? The face people put on for the public/friends can be totally different when they are in private - - interesting he didn't have a video/cam on his car.

wrong again

"The law is clear: If you refuse a sobriety test, you go to jail. " Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. She voluntarily took the sobriety test, just not the one where Wyrick could lie about the results and lucky for her she didn't 'trust him" after he pulled her for no good reason. What was the probable cause to arrest and cuff Ms. Tessener - "moderate smell of alcohol." That was his pretext, his excuse, his LIE, but it blew up in his face with two 0.00's. Then he had egg on his face and couldn't deal with it with integrity. He just had to "show them."

Just because you know and like Wyrick doesn't mean that he did not abuse his power or that he is above the law. Setting up the husband, if proven, will lead to a new career for your friend.-- a career where he won't be able to stand behind his badge and gun to treat folks like crap.

P.S. As for gravel roads, there are no gravel roads in WB, but there is a gravel parking lot where she was pulled over.

your are wrong

Your are wrong in your assertion that if you refuse the field sobriety test you go to jail. The officer is required to take in the totality of the circumstances. He has many other tools to use to determine if someone is under the influence. The fact that he took someone in who blew a 0.00 indicates he did not follow proper procedure and I suspect he will be disciplined for his actions.

Sorry, Sharon, but you, as

Sorry, Sharon, but you, as with many on this board, are patently wrong. The only basis for arrest is probable cause, and legally and rightfully refusing a field sobriety test or portable breath analyzer does not constitute probable cause. You are correct, the law is clear, but not as you claim it to be.

Actually there are lots of

Actually there are lots of gravel/dirt/sandy roads around Wilmington. If you lived there you'd know that. Wyrick showed his true colors......... otherwise thgis would nnot have happened in the firsst place.

One has the right to feel safe in following the requests of the officer. That means driving to a public place - not on the side of a road. Same holds true for sobriety tests as long as its not an extended period of time. That is a far cry from refusing a test.

If I knew for a fact that my light was not out I'd immediately be on guard and would be suspicious and distrustful especially as a woman and even more so dressed as she was.

It is inexcusable for any officer to have the attitude Wyrick did when pulling someone over much less a woman alone!!!

If he can't be sensitive to that fact if no other then his butt needs to be on administrative duty for the foreseeable future. I bet he'd behave a lot differently if he was being video taped which needs to happen without debate!!

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing his butt in the unemployment line. Inexcusable behavior.

She should not have refused

She should not have refused the test, regardless. Did he have a breathalizer with him? Here in IN, you refuse, you go to jail, period.

"she should not have refused the test"

Oh really ? You are not required by N.C law to submit to the roadside test. Had she done so, the trooper could've said something to the effect of: "Well, the roadside test showed she had consumed alcohol," and there would be no record- just his word. We have the much more sensitive breathalyzer which recorded a 0.00 followed by a 0.00.

What exactly was the probable cause to arrest her ?
- A light out on her car isn't adequate ?
- "Moderate smell of alcohol" was obviously bogus- see Breathalyzer results.
- Refusing to do what you were told to do even though the trooper had no legitimate reason to tell you to do it- BINGO.

She was NOT legally obligated to take the test.

He WAS legally obligated to have "probable cause" before charging her with DWI and arresting her.

She complied with the law. He did not. Police are NOT above the law.

If you REFUSE a field test

If you REFUSE a field test they can and will arrest when they have probable cause like smelling alcohol. Do us a favor and look up the law then you can run your mouth.

Jacuzzi of misinformation...

This comment board is a jacuzzi of misinformation and half-wit comments.

Haha...post more, people.

All I know is that in a tit for tat world: Don't mess with Hoyt Tessener's wife.

LEOs

I have day to day experience working with LEOs and I can tell you for a fact, that they thinkthey are above the law and never make a mistake! I am more than confident that this Trooper did exactly what he is accused of because he saw a pretty women and found out she was married and knew her rights! If I was wearing a dress and high heels I certainly wouldn't pass any type of balance test on a gravel parking lot---she would have looked guilty and had no witnesses to assist her!

As for the lawyer writing the letters, I am not a fan of lawyers by no means...taking only jobs they want and letting the poor souls who have been wronged hanging in the wind..but he was right! Why let a LEO get away with this type of harassment..most would only because he is a Trooper and they are afraid of retaliation. Well KUDOS to the lawyer for doing something to help the oridinary people!

LEOs need to know they are not GOD and not about the LAW.

Guest 1965

I am somewhat taking back by your comment that you work with LEO's on a daily basis and that they think they are above the law. Maybe you meant to say that most think they are above the law. I take offense with being included in your overall comparison. I will be the first to agree that their are those that fall into your named category but every
LEO does not.
HP needs a refresher course in the importance of Dash Cams, I can assure you that I do not get out of my cruiser without ensuring that mine is activated (audio and video). A true professional will always remain professional and will be prepared to defend him/herself at any given time with that wonderful thing we call dash cams. I agree that "LEO's need to know they are not God" but just know that there are those of us that actually serve a God and we do not fall into this group. Best regards......

Officers of law my butt!

All of the officers here in Wilmington are nothing but two face idiots! they have nothing better to do then harass people. While they let those drunks walk out of the bars at 2 am in the morning just watching them and do nothing. The lot of them need to be fired!