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

ONLY ON 3: Attorney and wife talk after meeting with Highway Patrol

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Attorney and wife talk after meeting with Highway Patrol

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Raleigh attorney and his wife who called out a New Hanover County Highway Patrol trooper in a letter to the governor are now speaking out on camera.

Hoyt and Gina Tessener say they were in Wilmington last week for a conference. The attorney thought the trip would be like any other trip to the coast. Instead it became an experience that evoked fear and uncertainty.

The Tesseners say Tpr. Edward Wyrick Jr. pulled over Gina last week near Wrightsville Beach because the trooper said her headlight was not working. The stop led to Wyrick accusing Tessener of drinking and driving.

"He then turns into me and tells me, 'I smell alcohol on your breath,'" Gina Tessener said.

Tessener says the trooper then took her to the Wrightsville Beach Police Department for a breath test. Gina blew a 0.00 twice

"It was clear from his face when gina blew the breathlyzer and it was 0.00...yYou can see him clench his jaw, tense up and was very angry by that," Hoyt Tessener said. "You can just sense the way he tensed up."

The Tesseners say Wyrick tried to intimidate them while they waited for the result of the second breath test.

"He came up and put his chest within an inch of my shoulder telling me to leave, and I stood there for the minute until it showed again 0.00," Hoyt said.

The Tesseners say Tpr. Wyrick told them he would have to take Gina "downtown" for a magistrate to release her. On the drive Hoyt Tessener followed Wyrick, who had Gina handcuffed in his car. Just a few minutes in, another trooper pulled Hoyt over.

The Tesseners think Wyrick set the whole thing up.

"The way he was going around this was what can I do now to hurt him, arrest him... it was pure intimidation," Gina said.

The second trooper soon let Hoyt Tessener. Hoyt tried to catch up with his wife, who was at the New Hanover County Jail in Castle Hayne, where a magistrate let her go.

The Tesseners eventually met up, putting an end to a night they won't soon forget.

Tuesday morning they met with Highway Patrol Internal Affairs investigators.

"I asked them have you looked at the video tapes from the cruisers? Have you looked at the tapes from the booking room? Have you looked at the cell records or the radio chatter?" Hoyt Tessener said. "He said, 'Well, we have not looked at any of that stuff yet.' The last thing I asked him is Tpr. Wyrick still on the road, and he said, 'I think he still is.'"

As for Wyrick, he had Wednesday off. We stopped by his home north of Wilmington. His wife answered the door and said he was not home. We left a message, and she said he would call us. He has not.

The Tesseners say they are very disappointed that Wyrick is still on duty. They hope the Highway Patrol will do what's right in the end.

Of course, The this is just the latest incident for an agency that has been mired in controversies involving troopers for several years now to the point that the governor appointed a new leader for the Highway Patrol and a blue ribbon panel to look at reform.

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.


I ask, "What was the real

I ask, "What was the real reason for the stop in the first place?" There would have been no encounter if the officer had not stopped her in the first place. Don't forget, he had no lawful reason!


I don't know if some of you just don't understand or don't want to understand the laws in NC. A law enforcement officer cannot...can NOT...release someone that has been arrested w/o taking that person before the Magistrate for a finding of PC or no PC. That's it. She blew .00 and was taken before the Magistrate and released.

No matter HOW many lies the Tessener's told; their story and video do NOT match, some of you will continue to blame LE. This isn't a matter of opinion, watch the video for yourself. Watch their interview where Mr. Tesseners states he was physically intimidated. Then watch the video from the PD. You can see it and hear it for yourself. Use your common sense. These people LIED. The Tesseners' LIED and the ignorant masses (to include the Governor) fell for it. Bev, once the investigation is done, I hope you ensure they are charged and I hope the Troopers go after the Tesseners' jobs. After all, good for the goose, good for the gander.

Sig Forum is watching. Better be a good guy!

The verdict is in and the lady lied and her hubby helped her become a victim. Lies. All lies as the jury of Sig Forum Elite Squd of Cops have ruled. Case closed. Cops vindicated once again. Bleach blonde fibbed to the wrong crew!

To those who think these

To those who think these guys are overreacting, obviously you have never been harassed like this (and i'm not talking about getting pissed when you get a parking/speeding ticket).

I've been pulled over before and asked if there was a reason my tail light was out. This is obviously a rediculous question, it's behind you so you don't know until someone tells you.

Point is.. she got pulled over for having a light out. However mean she was to the cop, after she blew zero that should have been the end of it.

The extra hours of harassment was just to get back at her and its unprofessional. I wonder if he could have legally held her for 24 hours questioning? I know cops have to deal with a lot, so they are given a lot of slack in the area of "customer service" or "professionalism" whereas in most careers you are judged by those qualities.

And what about Teachers? No one wants to be a teacher because there is so much red tape, pressure from the parents, the principal, the state.. if there was this much internal review on officers we wouldn't have the kind of attitude and unprofessionalism- even if they do have to deal with a lot of CRAP most of the time. I do too, everyone does, its work!

Comment concerning the HP (i.e., "SS")

There's no difference in the H Patrol in North Carolina and the "SS", past yrs. in Germany.

Prior to retiring during health reasons, I had a run-in with the HP. I was a licensened Embalmer and Funeral Director. Roads were icy, bad driving conditions. The county ambulance went off the road due to ice while carrying a heart attack victim.

I was notified by a friend to see if our funeral home could give assistance, helping this man get to the hospital. I immediately went there to give what assistance I could. There was a HP by the name of Pitula (or some sort of garbage as that). I was cursed for trying to come to this man's aid. I was also told that any attempt to remove this gentleman from this wrecked ambulance would result in my arrest.

All this was reported to the HP complaint people. They came to the funeral home and acted like the rectum's they are. They later sent a letter stating they could find "no wrongful action" on the trooper's part.

Incidentally, we never issued a statement. Now, I can say. This man who had a coronary, trip ended in a wrecked ambulance due to the ice...had a wife, good man in the community...because of this trooper, this man's life was terminated...DOA at the hospital.

Be proud of yourself HP. You keep doing this, and one day it's going to turn on you or one of your loved ones. The only people who would have you as a "loved one" must have a taste for "dung."

Yes, Mr. Pitula, if your sorry behind is still amoung us, please accept all our "middle finger of friendship" in the community.

You are welcome to pass it on to the rest of you Nazi's.


Did you see unprofessionalism on behalf of the Trooper? Now where is the unprofessionalism from the Tessener crowd? It's on every paper and television station they can get to take the story. The fact Mr. Tessener (the attorney) should have subpoenad the video himself before he stepped into a lie with both feet. Better yet, he and his wife ought to know the laws in this state. There are ALWAYS two tests because the LAW requires it, regardless of what the results of the first are. The arrested has to go before a Magistrate to be released. He's an embarrassment; not the other way around. And the fake emotion rolling off his wife is pathetic...she better stick with HER job because she stinks as an actress.

You are VERY misinformed!

You are VERY misinformed! What this trooper did appears to be completely within his duties. He stopped her for a light violation. He smelled alcohol on her, she said she "sipped" wine. She refused to do any test for him. He arrested her and then she blew .00. If she had cooperated with the tests on the side of the road, she never would have been arrested. She had to go to a magistrate in order to be released. Her big mouth husband should know that! He is an attorney right?? Once a person is placed under arrest, I think they must see a magistrate even if the officer knows they are going to be released. I believe she was handcuffed because I think it is probably the policy of the Highway Patrol to handcuff people before transporting them somewhere. Correct me if I am wrong but that is what I have heard. Give this trooper a break! He was so professional on that video and what I see is a snobby rich attorney and his wife that think they can push their weight and money around. If that is not true, than why did he feel the need to write an 8 page letter to the Governor and "other officals" as the news reported? If he really felt he had a complaint, does the trooper not have a supervisor he could have called?? Do we have to go to the Governor and Senators for a complaint?? Let's get real here. Can you not see what is going on? Cocktail dress, jewelry, lexus, big mouth, letters to politicians?? Am I the only one seeing this?? This attorney is not stupid. He knows exactly what he is doing. And, lest anyone thinks he is a saint, Google him! He has charges pending himself!! Let's give those troopers the benefit of the doubt that they were trying to do their job and serve all of us out here who need them! Do we really need a rich big mouth lawyer from Raleigh?? Where are our priorities people??

Everybody is quick to jump

Everybody is quick to jump on cops and troopers, and anybody associated with the law process. When you get pulled over for speeding, you want a cop/trooper to be nice to you. Customer service really??? You want somebody to be nice to you for speeding, when speeding could injure somebody or even kill them if you are in an accident. If somebody appears to be driving under the influence, guess what you will get pulled over. The first thing they ask if they SMELL alcohol is did you have anything to drink??? If your answer is yes, they will then ask how much??? Then they will proceed to ask you to do a sobriety test. If you refuse you will then be arrested. The only person who can let the accused go is a judge. And this big shot lawyer who deals with law should know the procedures. He is a dui lawyer and acts like he does not know the procedures, some lawyer he is. Nobody complains about cop/troopers when they need them. But let some dimwit write a false accusation and everybody thinks all cops are on a power trip. What is wrong with our citizens??? They are all trying to do a job, so do your citizen duties and do not break the law even having a tail light out.

Well maybe it is a little

Well maybe it is a little too much "How dare the police stop me I am never in the wrong" type attitude most people have. When the police do there job they are automaticaly wrong in the publics eyes. This is most likely case and point. What we have is a well to do WASP that believes that because of her affluent life that she is above the law and that when she is caught, well lets just say the hammer will fall. She is in a position to cause harassment to the officer doing his duty and will try and punish him for making her feel a little more "common". Lord forbid that was to happen. I suspect she was the one with the authority problem and is throwing a tantrum to save face. I will give in to the point that not every officer is good but also not every officer is bad. The good far out weighs the bad. Next time maybe she will obey the traffic laws.

In your rant you

In your rant you conveniently forgot that she was objectively NOT in the wrong. She blew a .00, there was no probable cause to arrest her in the beginning, and certainly no probable cause to continue to keep her in custody after she blew the .00. Even the headlight allegation appears to be baseless and pretextual as Tessener says the car had just been serviced and the lights were functioning fine. There is no requirement for a magistrate to release a suspect when there is no probable cause, this officer could have let her go right there in the WB station.

I don't see any evidence here that she felt she was above the law. Perhaps she got irritated because the officer repeatedly refused to recognize the apparent facts, and continued to wrongfully detain her, but irritation is the appropriate response here I think. In my experience, most people actually assume the officer was in the right, and most of the time this is a correct assumption, but not this time. It is obvious here though that something is wrong with this officer.


If you people don't think troopers and the LEO community doesn't lie just look at the cases brought against the state crime labs. Men serving years in prison for false results that were backed by the crime lab. If you file a complaint against a trooper do you not think him or all his buddies will not be gunning for you everytime you hit the road? Do you honestly think internal affairs will really investigate them, there was the head of the internal affairs in Raleigh who resigned because of coverups..wake up people.Cops will not prosecute cops if they can figure a way to cover it up. You think average Joe Blow would have a chance against the system as it is now in place? The NCSHP has a history of corrupt cops and it has gotten no better, do some research. This Rambo just screwed with the wrong person and hopefully will be a mall cop in his future. Before you have the chance to say it I have never been arrested, 1 ticket in my 58 years and had a retired sheriff in my family so don't even go there.
I had a cop come to my house on a complaint a few years back saying my dog had tried to bite ( in a locked fence) the mail carrier and treated my wife like crap, as he was giving his lecture it came over his radio he was at the wrong house. No apology or anything, our first visit was to the Chief monday morning, found out we were not the first one's to complain, finally he was fired for his attitude. GOOD RIDDENCE. If you are wronged hold their feet to the fire. Don't give up. Go to the top the lower guys will just cover for their pals.

He appears to be just

He appears to be just another "hockey-cockey" officer that thinks he's god's gift to women because he's got a badge and a gun. Pretty blonde in a fancy car that didn't play along, so he abuses his power. For the most part the troopers I know are stand up people and take pride in their job. It's bad when one ruins the image of the good ones.

Trooper Misconduct

My only comment is that your story failed to indicate whether the female victim's headlight was out or not. It could have been used as an excuse to pull her over. A related question: Did the trooper "hit on" the female victim? Further, I think your reporter should try to gain access to a personnel file to determine whether this is an isolated incident or whether the trooper likes to pull over good looking female motorists. This is a serious incident. If there was no probable cause than it smacks of false imprisonment which is a major crime in our society.

this man is, by far, not the jerk you are making him out to be

I drive a Lexus & have had two ocassions in which I have had to deal with Trooper Wyrick. One was while he was still employeed with the Pender County Sheriff's Department. I was involved in a one car accident, which was my fault. He was very kind and considerate with me and with my family when they arrived at the scene. Not once was he rude or arrogant. The second ocassion was while he was an employ of the NCHP. This was several years later and he had no reason to remember me. He pulled me over for a traffic violation and when he saw my young child was upset and crying because he thought his mommy had to go to jail, Trooper Wyrick comforted him and assured him that his Mommy wasn't going anywhere. Now in my eyes, a trooper that went out of his way to calm a child can't be all that bad. We only heard one side of this story. I suspect there is more to it than Trooper Wyrick is just a mean man! Speaking from direct experience!! Just my opinion.

State Bunglers

SHP if any of this is proven to be fact which by all written accounts seems to be then you have no defense. You have a bad apple and your agency is full of disrespectful, overbearing, malicious so called enforcers of the law. SHP has proven time after time that this agency needs a complete redo. Politicians need to change the current statute that prevents an outside person taking over the agency. It is quite apparent that they are unable to police themselves. This agency has always been deeply rooted inside NC politics which prevents a outsider from taking this control away from politics. Therefore the SHP academy and the institution itself breeds more and more Patrolmen who abuse their authority. One of the comments was at a checkpoint where the writer states he was hollered at and told to shut up. This writer would get out, take a cell phone picture of the Patrolman and tell him he should shutup and he has no authority to tell a law abiding citizen anything. This type contact with overbearing Patrolman infuriates me and this behavoir should not be tolerated by anyone. Patrolman are charged to conduct themselves professionally and fairly. Facts indicate they constantly act unprofessionally and abuse their authority. Citizens we cannot continue to support a State agency whose members do not act correctly within the scope of their authority. Politicians I call upon you to bring in an outside professional Police Officer with no ties to State Politics or SHP and give this person the responsibility to correct the bad image and bad Patrolman who run rampant within this agency. Not all Patrolman are bad, some are very good and polite and professional. But the loose guns are going to bring the entire agency down. I call for current members to police themselves, they know who is overbearing and unprofessional.

One very simple question.

One very simple question. Why isn't the Cruiser camera footage and police station cameras footage public knowledge? Why are these things kept secret from the public? Why isn't ANY and EVERY on-duty police officers car footage public? Why is it when the offiecr seems to be at question, it takes weeks or months, if it ever comes out? Yet If the suspect is guilty we are provided the footage immediately?

All on duty law enforcement should be required to wear an on-person camera and microphone at all times, that was publicly available for all to see if and when requested. For any and every situation. Up to one month from when the incident occurred. This would clear up all questions to 98% of all cases, and allow us to reward upstanding police officers worthy of our praise and of being financially rewarded for thier efforts , and IMMEDIATELY end the theory of the 'Good ol boy' network. We as a society pay law enforcement to do a job, why is it that how they act should be such a secret? Good cops should be rewarded, power abusing cops should be fired and prosecuted.

way off base

Friend you are way off base here. One reason the in car camera's are not public is because of privacy laws, not for the officer but for the suspect. Putting a camera and mic on every police officer would be in the millions of dollars. Now to the troopers alleged attitude. When a person enters law enforcement they are taught to be tough. At the first time a suspect can see weakness in an officer the officer puts himself in danger. I will admit there are bad apples out there. When the accused female was taken to the beach PD to blow in the ABL and it showed 0.00 that does not mean she was sober at all. Machines malfunction all the time. Last there is no magistrate at the beach PD and by law he can not release her until she has been placed before a magistrate to see if he wants other BAL tests to be run. If this Trooper did bully her he does deserve to be punished. The thing is we dont know all the facts. The courts will decide what will happen next.

Really ?

Some of you just don't understand. first, just because you blow .00 doesn't mean your not impaired by another substance. If the Trooper thought she was on something else, then he has probable cause. I'm defending either. The Trooper has a hard job to do, and he is a HUMAN being like the rest of us. We all have those days. The "victims" should not have went media first. they should have filed a complaint, if nothing happend, then go up the chain and show some respect for the system and government. This is way over blown and should be handled internally. Let it play out and stop assuming that either are guilty of anything. These people have families and friends that read this.

This is nothing new

There are bad apples in every bunch of cops be they local or state. Some guys are power tripping a-holes enough said. This guy is probably one of them. The problem is the cop picked the wrong person to mess with this time somebody who has a law degree as a witness to his actions and connections. I know some nice state troopers who are hard working guys and would never act this way. I also know some cops in Wrightsville Beach who are total power tripping buttheads and shouldnt be allowed a whistle let alone a gun and taser. I dont believe agencies as a whole should be painted with a broad brush because it implies everybody is guilty when it just isnt the case however in this case its probably true he acted improperly and likely is guilty of false arrest even abuse of power. The NCHP and most law enforcement have leeway in DWI because it is such a serious crime but to be beligerent and acting the way he did was incorrect. I also might add that this trooper obviously had it in his mind she was guilty once he claimed he smelled alchohol on her breath and she was within her rights to refuse the field test she however didnt refuse the breathalyzer as NC is like many other states as a refusal of that is basically an assumed presumption of guilt of the DWI in State Law. The fact is she never should have been taken to the NHCJ thats where this went way wrong. A Double 00 2x should have been an automatic release from custody as that corroberates her innocence. I dont see how she would be required to be taken to jail and released by the magistrate as no crime was committed therefore no appearance should have been required.

any word on whether a headlight was really out?

just curious, thanks.

We are all accountable for our actions

Right or wrong either of them we dont know for sure but they are laws that must be followed and they should be followed if not then it will come out ....and i cant believe so many people are ignorant enough to choose sides without the facts...but arent we all innocent til proven guilty,oh i forgot not any more in this country...

i agree that laws should be

i agree that laws should be followed... what disturbs me is the fact that the laws enforced by the highway patrol don't apply to the highway patrol... if one is caught speeding, he or she flashes a badge and is extended "professional courtesy" im sorry, thats not just wrong, its immoral, illegal and worth of my contempt

Trooper Problem in Wilmington

If,(and I stress the word if) the story the Tesseners are giving is correct, then I feel bad for them. They were treated poorly, and the trooper and magistrate involved need to lose their jobs and possibly have charges brought against them. If there is more to the story than this, then I would love to hear it. Depending on what more is said, I may or may not change my mind.
As far as the other people making comments, I have something to say to you too.
1.) Everyone makes a little typo now and then, but some of your comments are so poorly punctuated and the grammar is so horrible, it's very hard to make out what you are trying to say.
2.) News is anything worth talking about. YES, this story is news. Anything worth talking about is news. If you don't want to read it or hear about it, step away.
3.) As far as no one stepping forward with bad experiences about the trooper: That is not surprising given the guilty verdict most people have put on the Tesseners already. Who would believe anyone if the public doesn't? Most officers stick together and defend each other to the bitter end. Maybe now some things will come out.

Why should the magistrate

Why should the magistrate lose his/her job and be fired?


You would have to read the 9 page letter that was written as a complaint. It was explained in there what the magistrate did.There is a link to it on this site.



I do not believe one word of

I do not believe one word of this. By the way, Troopers can not be voted out of office, nice try, please bash again later.

That is a very serious

That is a very serious allegation. But, as you know, anyone can claim anything on the Internet. If anyone witnessed what you described, you should come forward.

It amazes me to read the

It amazes me to read the uninformed and ignorant comments of the people who side with the trooper. Before lambasting the lawyer, look up his credentials and accomplishments. I did, and he is widely recognized to be a leading attorney in NC. Of course, the ignoramuses will find fault with that because he is one of those (Heaven forbid!) "lawyers."
To the person who said that the bad cop was just doing his job: Are you kidding? Assume the facts are true--if you had been Gina Tessener that night, would you think he was "just doing his job?" Have you folks read about the widespread corruption and abuse in the NC State Highway Patrol? I guarantee that if this had happened to any of the trooper apologists or members of their families, they'd be singing a different tune.


lawyers are always "leading attorneys" & "widely recognized". Always remember that attorneys are the kings of kudos, & they will heap them upon themselves (otherwise they don't make any money). This is also why so many politicians are lawyers, because they're "widely recognized & leading"........don't believe the hype.