make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

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

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.


If Mrs Bigshot Lawyer's wife

If Mrs Bigshot Lawyer's wife was driving in high heels, no wonder he pulled her over. High heels are slick, and their unbalance causes the foot to slip off the pedal. They are a hazard. Most women take them off before driving. A trained law enforcement officer, whose job it is to hunt DWIs, before they kill someone, would quickly notice the signs, of a foot slipping off the pedal.

If Miss Priss refuses to take a soberity test, because her precious toe might scrape a pebble, that is her right. But that left Trooper Wyrick no other CHOICE, but to arrest her. I feel soooooooo sorry for her poor "Grived and Saddened" bigshot lawyer husband. Maybe a few thousand dollars might make him happy. But in this case his wife was wrong, and it looks like he's gonna have to go find someone else to squeeze.

Don't you think the wife of

Don't you think the wife of an attorney knows her rights when she's pulled over? C'mon people. This is blatant misconduct and he should be rebuked accordingly.

I hope this trooper is

I hope this trooper is immediately dismissed from the department. He obviously is on a power trip and thinks he is above the law.

I have worked in the legal field for many years with a lot of courtroom experience. I have seen, on numerous occassions, police officers with tremendous attidudes. For example, I saw a City of Wilmington police officer get on the stand and lie. The reason I know he lied is because I happed to be a witness to the alledged charges. I happened to be a bystander when an officer arrested someone for being impaired when they were completley sober. This officer illustrated similar behavior as trooper Wyrick. On the stand this officer said the defendant was stumbling to his car before he was pulled. That was not true.

Of course, in the end, these charges were compeletly dropped but only after this person was put through a humiliating and degrading experience. The trooper was very agressive and unprofessonal.

I only hope that these corrupt officers can get weeded out so the honest law abiding officers can effectively do their job and the citizens can trust them.

Is this for real???

Are you kidding me with this letter. This is just another man who thinks he has power and will use it to destroy a persons career.
Why would you mention the make of your car and former titles you held. Was this a resume or a complaint letter. Who cares what you drive and what you do. If any discipline is giving to this Trooper it will once again show that power rules and our North Carolina Political system remains corrupt. This could of all been avoided if the lady would of taken the test from the start. Her husband who claims to be a powerful lawyer should of known this.
I guess he thinks he is way above the law.
No one should comment until the WHOLE truth is out. We are going on the word of Mr. Bigshot Lawyer trying to push his so called political power around.
Y'all talk a good game about how bad the Police are until one of your family members are killed by a drunk driver and then your tune changes.

MikeG, you're missing the point

the outrage here is not over her being brought in to be tested, but for everything else. He was right to bring her in for breathalizer if she refused a field test. But, the issue here is the unprofessional and actionable behavior of the Trooper during and after the whole process - AND, the possible corruption in trying to set up the false arrest of the husband by another Trooper - AND, the behavior of the Magistrate..
I'm sorry that you can't see the fundamental lack of fairness here and how this tears at the fabric of the justice system which we all must have faith in as a civil society.

If you read the account

If you read the account offered in the letter, it was the patrolman who repeatedly referenced how he could not afford a "fancy car" like the one the lawyer's wife drove.

I'm sure she and her Bigshot

I'm sure she and her Bigshot Lawyer, Professional Victim, Husband, were perfect angels, throughout whole the process. If Trooper Wyrick "Walked Threatenly" and used a horrible statements like "fancy car". No wonder her poor husband is so "Grived and Saddened".

Poor Miss Priss, mother of three. First he has the nerve to expect her to take off her high heels, and possibably scrape her precious, blue-blood toe, on a pebble. Now he is verbally abusing her, by mentioning her "fancy car".

Maybe he didn't realize how important she was. Maybe Trooper Wyrick has this notion that all people are equel under the law, and it is his duty to enforce it without favor. Maybe they would feel less "Grived and Saddened" if we gave them a few thousand dollars, and if Trooper Wyrick lost his job.


Another rich pompas attorney who thinks his stuff doesn't stink, and is using his social status (or what he thinks is his social status) to play polotics and get his ichy richy wife off.. I am more concerned this was thrown out because of politics. It sounds like he was interferring with an investigation.
Had any of us lowly under privlidged people had this happen, we would have spent the next few hours in a cell...
Well Mr. attorney... welcome to the real flippin world... This isn't a trooper thing, this isn't a wpd thing... This sort of thing happens all the time. The trooper had every right to take her in for a bal test after she refused a field sobriety test. Was the trooper on a power trip? Probably so... Is the attorney just as guilty as trying to use social status to play politics? Absolutely...
I wonder if Mr lawyer has ever gone to this length for any of his clients to prove their innocence... I would be willing to bet not... SOunds like they are BOTH on a sick ego power trip...

You have the same class envy issues as the trooper.

You have the same class envy issues as the trooper. Who cares if she is rich, poor, blue or green? The trooper had no right to proceed in the manner he did after the woman blew a 0.00. And if he colluded with another officer to illegally detain the woman's husband as she was being transported to Castle Hayne, then this guy needs to be fired immediately.

Sen. Thom Goolsby, Rep.

Sen. Thom Goolsby, Rep. McComas and others, please follow up on this. After reading Mr. Tessener's letter to the Governor, I am completely shocked and saddened that this happened right here. This i so completely infuriating and outrageous as to cause incredible anger against Troopers in general as I am feeling towards this Tpr. Wyrick right now.
He should be suspended immediately until a thorough INDEPENDENT investigation has completed.


I hope that you people check out this trooper's record:

He seems to be keeping an awful lot of drunks, and otherwise impaired, drivers off of our roads.
Too bad that it isn't illegal to be a 'blowhard troublemaker', because then someone could arrest Mr. Tessenner! I really hate that the trooper that pulled him over, let him go!
And sure , why not suspend a trooper who makes so little money anyway, for putting his life on the line everyday! I couldn't agree more.


That's what we have. Fast to critize, the nc state highway patrol is accepting applications--APPLY!!! Can you bear to see that mangled body, fight with that person that doesn't want to be arrested, stop a car on a desserted road in the middle of the night.. I'm tired of everybody critizing the people that put their life on the line to protect us. No body is perfect, mistakes get made. Would we have heard about this, if this lady would have been under the influence? This story is base on her account to her husband as to what happened before her husband arrived. Get your name out there lawyer. Maybe if she would have taken the sobriety test at the initial stop, this would not have gone to the jail. Pull the stats on the DWI arrest and convictions in New Hanover Co. My hat is off to the NC State Highway Patrol.

Its her right to not take

Its her right to not take the field Sobriety test and clearly wasn't believing of the Trooper who said he smelled alcohol when she blew a 0.0! So she knew it was impossible and he clearly had bad judgement. What is sad is the fact that after she blew the 0.0 she still had to go through more of his evil tactics. This man is clearly not capable of doing his job. He needs to be off the road. And hopefully his conduct does not represent all Troopers.

Attny and wife run in........

When she refused to take the soberity test, she left the officer little choice.

I know this story leaves a

I know this story leaves a lot out. But I am trying to figure out what the probable cause Tpr. Wyrick used for the arrest of Gina Tessener. Did he smell an odor of alcohol on her, was she driving erratically, or was her speeched slurred when she was talking to him. I can not see how the trooper can articulate probable cause for a DUI arrest based on a headlight not working on her vehicle. Then when he takes her into custody and transports her to the Wrightsville Beach Police Department to perform a breath test, she passes not one but two tests with a 0.00 reading. After the breath test, this trooper then transports her to the New Hanover County Jail to appear before the duty magistrate. While this is going on another trooper then pulls over the husband of Tressener. This trooper lets the husband go after several questions. Again, what was the probable cause or violation that warranted this trooper to pull over the husband. I thought the motto for the police was To Serve and Protest, not To Harass and Annoy. If this story is true, then we all need to worry because those that abuse their positions of responsibilty are dangerous and can not be trusted. Once the trust is gone there isn't much left.

He was speeding. Sounds like

He was speeding. Sounds like probable cause to pull someone over to me.

Where does this story

Where does this story mention that the husband was speeding for the second trooper to pull him over. I can not find it anywhere. Sounds like you are trying to fabricate probable cause when none existed.

Do you people really believe this?

If the husband was pulled over, he was doing something to get pulled over for. Of course the letter doesn't mention it! Duh! The letter was written by the lawyer and none of the media is listening to anyone but that pompous ass!!
I assume that once the second trooper heard the man's story, he let him go out of kindness. What a jerk that second trooper must have been. Could we all just wait for the investigation to be done?
I am sure that Trooper Wyrick is not allowed to defend himself in the public media. What a shame that we, as a community, immediately bash the Trooper who has taken many drunks off of our streets. Has anyone checked Trooper Wyricks record? No, because I am sure that you would find that Trooper Wyrick has an exemplary record. But hey, why not just accuse him of wrongdoing? If you read the letter, you would note that Trooper Wyrick also offered to give her a breathylizer test in his car. She REFUSED! Hello, am I the only person who read this? I've met this Trooper and he is not big enough to be in any way threatening. And he was just doing his Job!!!
Why is it okay to sensationalize this 'lawyer's' accusations? Maybe he is treated differently in Raleigh, but here in New Hanover County we treat everyone the same. By Law.
Did you read the part about the Magistrate 'yeeling' at this woman? Come on, not just Trooper Wyrick was abusive, but also a Magistrate? Does this really 'sound' like the truth? Really?
I sure hope this lawyer does not cause this Trooper to lose his job. That would be the real'crime' here.

Then so was the trooper

If he was following the trooper because he didn't know where to go, the trooper was speeding as well.

Rotten Highway Patrol

Good for you Mr. Tessener for standing your ground and not letting this rogue Highway Patrol get away with this. I would want to see the dash-cam. If there isn't one, the Patrolman should be fired immediately. That would prove his guilt and Rambo attitude. I could not imagine this happening to me, now I know it could.

New Hanover Counties Blue Wall of Misconduct

I was assaulted by a Sheriff's Deputy, in a court room, who was later arrested for assaulting his wife and child. There is a culture of bullying in both the Sheriff's Office and with the State Troopers because they know they can get away with it.

As long as people like Sheriff Ed McMahon and Judge Sandy Criner protect the thugs no citizen will be safe.

I ended up in jail for being attacked by a deputy of ill repute and no one was willing to help.

That is criminal and the culprits are all in the system.

Get rid of the arrogance, get rid of the Nazi's in police uniforms, get rid of McMahon and his staff and get rid of Sandy Criner and her warped interpretation of civil rights.

Sounds like

a power tripping officer. If her citation was thrown out for lack of probable cause, it also sounds like a lawsuit to me.

"he noticed Wyrick texting someone on his phone."

Isn't texting while driving against the law?

"another trooper pulled over Hoyt Tessener, who suspects he was set up by Wyrick. The second trooper let Tessener go after some questioning."

What was he stopped for?

sickofit, if you read the

sickofit, if you read the silly letter the lawyer made up you will see that the texting occurred in the police dept, not while driving. Nice try trying to also make the Trooper look bad for doing nothing wrong. For crying out loud, the Trooper even brought her a cup of water she requested at one point. The lawyer also doesn't understand the law very well if he thinks the Trooper can have a magistrate come to them or do a p.c. hearing over the phone. The lawyers complaints are actually the Trooper following the rules of law (the laws made by lawyers that this lawyer obviously doesn't understand).

Texting while driving...

Re-read the letter. The Trooper was supposedly texting at the station AND WHILE DRIVING from Wrightsville Beach to the Sheriff's Dept.


I KNOW these guys have a DANGEROUS and difficult job...but I have NO ROOM for sympathy and LOATHE officers like this who use their badge to be A-HOLES...

Officer Misconduct

I hope this attorney sues the NC Highway Patrol out of existance. I have always said in lieu of budget problems the patrol should be disbanded and the Sheriff's Office be given State Money to add traffic officers to do the same work the Patrol continually abuses. This is at least the 4th incident with them just this year. As a ex police officer retired many Officers had no respect for the Highway Bunglers. They only enforce traffic laws and investigate accidents. If you get robbed, your house broke into, anything other than traffic you call Police not the Highway Bunglers. Local Police and Deputies provide much more security and are more sensitive to real crime problems.I have seen on more than one occassion troopers who overstep their authority, intentionally cause distress to citizens they are sworn to protect. I tell you the Highway Patrol is not a friend to citizens. They have a unwritten creed that we are the enemy and love to brag about their arrest and ticketing of citizens to each other. They violate the traffic laws they love to enforce as much as any of us. Also, the trooper who stopped the attorney needs to be fired with the arresting Officer. What reason did he have to stop the attorney other than harass him because the other trooper was upset. This type behavoir I guarantee is not tolerated by the WPD or the Sheriff's Office. Also, why do troopers always hang around the beach. Their title is highway so they belong on the highway and not Lumina Avenue. I have no respect for them, never had, never will.

You have no respect for them

You have no respect for them probably because your application was denied.

Respect is Earned

To the comment my application was probably denied is the response from a complete and total incompetent. Respect is earned no matter what your position in life. The accusations againist this trooper is what causes no respect issues for all Law Enforcement. This one act of the "John Wayne" syndrome is quite believable. Since you have never been in Law Enforcement you are unfamiliar with this. So spout your mouth off. You are clueless and quite uniformed. By the way I never applied to SHP, Charlotte PD was enough for a career.

Application Denied?

Give me a break. I was in an accident a few years back and the teenage driver that plowed into the back of me at a school bus crossing benefited greatly from the near illiteracy of the trooper who wrote up the accident report. My insurance company could not believe what a shoddy job the guy did.

How come nearly all of these troopers are a "Jr". anyway? Most of the time it is because Daddy Sr.was an illustrious trooper as well. That is their big credential. So, you see, it is really no big deal joining an organization rife with nepotism, cat killers, possessors of child porn, etc. etc.

Excellent proposal

"I have always said in lieu of budget problems the patrol should be disbanded and the Sheriff's Office be given State Money to add traffic officers to do the same work the Patrol continually abuses."

Excellent proposal. I have a great deal of respect for my local sheriff and police department and many law enforcement people I know regard the NCHP as a joke and a blot on the work done by competent law enforcement agencies. The Highway Patrol is just institutionally broken; a reorganization alone will not remedy the problems that corrupt it to the core.