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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.


Just because an attorney has 'credentials'...

The attorney may have 'credentials', but to immediately go straight to the top (Perdue) before going through the proper chain of command shows a severe lack of professionalism that casts doubt on his claims.

You must be a trooper!!!

You must be a trooper to even consider saying such a thing.
Professionalism gets you nowhere with these people. Trust me I know from experience!!!

We all make mistakes

We all make mistakes in life. All of us.
None of us were there and know the entire story and it could very well be that both sides had their own faults...
It agitates me the trooper could have perhaps been on a good ol boy power trip, but what aggravates me worse is someone using political/social status to try and hatefully destroy a person's career/life.
It is one thing to be embarrassed and feel punished for no reason, but it takes a truly hateful individual to pull out all stops just in order to cause direct harm in a form of retaliation to another AND redemption of saving face, person which is exactly what Mr atty is doing here...
This trooper has potentially saved lives with the amount of DUI arrests he has made and is obviously good (albeit maybe too good) at his job.
IF... IF he is guilty of being heavy-handed that evening then why isn't Mr. attorney working with the highway patrol to see that this trooper gets job/anger relate counseling? Has the attorney never made mistakes in his life? Why the vengeance? Why TRY to destroy another person's life? All the attorney is doing is proving what a mean spirited person he is.. This could have been handled in a private manner with IAF, with the same outcome and by going SO public with this all the attorney is doing is showing that HE is the one with anger issues, more so than the trooper... Anyone with an eye for an eye mentality is worthless scum in my book and in THE book, God tells us to love one another... I can’t find where is says "If thou art wronged, attack and destroy the other person who you hath think wronged you with a sword of vengeance." SO Mr. Attorney, next time you are in church pretending to be the good soul as you heavily tithe, next time you are in court and you begin asking the law enforcement officer who arrested your client for a break and the LEO walks away from you, and when you walk down the sidewalk and get looks of disgust from the 50% that think you are a person filled with anger and hate for taking this as far as you are taking it and actually expending energy and resources to get someone else hurt instead of help...Look in the mirror and just ask yourself if that is what you really want your legacy to be.. If that is how you want your children to grow up an act.... Why don't for once, instead of acting like a narcissist you actually be the better person and do what is morally and ethically right because IF the trooper is guilty of a power trip, all you and Ms rich wifey have done is joined him on a power trip of your own, with your tip being worse.. HE was trying to (again.. it could have been wrong) make an arrest for what he thought was something it obviously wasn't. He embarrassed your wife, scared your children, and I am sure angered you.. All of which can be repaired... However.. YOU have publically attacked with malice, on a media, professional, and the highest political level in our state another person's integrity, ethics, morals and professionalism WITH the intent of permanently destroying a person’s career... That sir.. makes you just as wrong if not more so than the trooper was and shows your state, that instead of being a kind, loving human being that you are just as mean, bitter and hateful as those you feel who have wronged you... It’d be nice to see you reverse course and be the better person in this case.. But It’s my opinion that your inflated ego would never allow for that to happen.. It would be nice to be wrong nut you have displayed your own hate and anger in an eye for an eye fashion that you are just as wrong as everyone else… I hope my children don’t grow up with hate and vengeance and anger in their hearts.. Both you and the trooper (if guilty) are poster kids for what I DON’T want my children to grow up to be.. Angry, Power trippin’ people…
BOTH of you need to grow up and one of you I hope, comes out of this looking like the better man because you only appear to be two brats fighting in a sandbox and I would hope that it is only emotion driving your anger and that this is not who you truly are…
There are instances… when it is better to think with your heart rather than your head…

Sally what does some of your comments say about you?

What is with "Ms. Rich Wifey" Sounds like sterotyping to me!!!! Have something againist rich women? or maybe sucessful men? Doesn't look like you are any better than either of them. Who are you to judge?

With due respect, Sally, I

With due respect, Sally, I feel that the Tesseners are doing the right thing!

To continue your metaphor "two brats fighting in a sandbox" I'd be more inclined to say that Tesseners are standing up to a neighborhood bullying gangster.

The real sad waste of resources was this trooper dragging Mrs. Tessener around on a goat-rope, diverting his time from his real duty of traffic enforcement. A citation for defective equipment would have been more than sufficient.



I bet you would be singing a

I bet you would be singing a different tune if you or someone you loved would have been subjected to this type of treatment. LEO's are invested by the state with a great deal of power and discretionary authority. This man appears to have abused both. What recourse do you think the attorney and his wife should have sought? And what about the trooper? Don't you think if he gets away with this type of behavior he will be emboldened to go further next time? I think you really need to think about the ramifications about what you suggest here.

out of control

Couple of things to add/reiterate:

WWAY needs to get it together. I get its your job to present news in a way that will get you ratings but you're impacting the lives and careers of so many people when you don't tell the entire story. Not just with this story but with others, including myself as a stakeholder, you all twist the story and write things in a way that tends to make innocent people look bad. Just be impartial. Geez.

Second... this 'attorney' is out of control. Apparently the SHP in New Hanover County is much more serious about potential violations involving alcohol and vehicles than what he's used to. Does this attorney realize that so many DWI charges occur as a result of pulling people over for minor violations? I myself just got pulled over for a license plate frame and this same thing happened to me. Only I wasn't silly enough to refuse the PBT or the field test. I passed both and was let go with a warning.

Bottom line, this attorney and his wife are out of control... all because Wyrick was doing his job. Man up and get over it... or just stay away from southeast NC because what kind of car you drive, who you are, and what names you throw around don't make a difference.

Siding with

Siding with the officers on this one. I read the letter and frankly I can't beleive he's a lawyer. Must not be a good one, reminds me of Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad. Maybe I shouldn't say that, he seems like he's awful sue-ey.

Any lawyer worth his salt would know to file a formal complaint through SHP first and foremost, this guy is playing the good old boy network and media instead. Choosing to take his justice through who he knows rather than proper protocol and procedure.

Those guys DWI hunt all night long in Eastwood / Wrightsville. They let the innocent go, experienced that plenty of time.

"Any lawyer worth his salt

"Any lawyer worth his salt would know to file a formal complaint through SHP first and foremost"

Yeah, because the SHP has such a stellar reputation and all. I mean who wouldn't trust them to judge their own with the record they have acquired over the years?

I filed a complaint and got nowhere!!!

Look they look after their own. I filed a complaint on another officer that broke the law in front of me and my teenage daughter and when I called him out on it, "he told me to shut up and no one would ever believe me" so forgive me if I think the whole SHP is a waste of our tax dollars--we pay them to ride around and break the laws they are supposed to uphold----Talking on their cell phones, speeding, not wearing a seat belt, and I have even seen one leave a bar and drink and drive. They think they are untouchable. And considering the reponse I got from the complaint---They are


Your siding with SHP because of the letter structure? OBVIOUSLY...they DIDN'T let the innocent go...the lady blew a big fat ZERO...

NO EXCUSE for this troopers behavior!


Can still blow a 0.00 when you're popping Zannies, smoking weed, snorting Bath Salts, or any other number of things that aren't alcohol but still mess you up. Still considered a DWI - did you learn nothing from the River Rd incident? Check your laws sir.

DWI Hunt?

Well, this one blew a 0.00 twice and he stated he smelled alcohol on her breath. The trooper is a liar and you are forced to smear the couple who are holding him accountable because you are unable to defend his actions.


Ok think about this for one second. Why would any officer arrest someone for DWI when there was no evidence of same. Better yet why would an officer risk his job just for one arrest that is based on a complete lie. I don't think a seasoned officer would do this. There had to be something there for him to initiate the arrest. Oh wait I know this Trooper woke up that morning and said I want to get fired today. I will just go out and arrest someone completely innocent for no reason at all. I am sure I will lose my job then. Really, come on guys there is more to this than what is being told. And for those people so quick to point fingers and blame officers I say this, why don't u go put on a bullet proof vest. Then go tell your family bye not knowing if you will ever see them again. And risk your life for complete strangers to keep them safe. Think about what our society would be like without officers out there doing there job. Personally I am grateful to each and everyone of them. Unless u are willing to step up to the task yourself don't be so quick to judge. Just be thankful they are out there.

Well, I for one am another

Well, I for one am another example to prove you wrong. I was ARRESTED for possible DWI when pulled over for speeding. I blew 0.0 at the facility test. I passed the field sobriety test perfectly. The Trooper was being an absolut jerk to me and took everything I had to keep my mouth shut. I offered to take his field handheld test and that pissed him off that I was being 'pushy' so he cuffed me and brought me in.
No charges filed, released within 30 min. But, I now had a car in impound and stuck at midnight in a town an hour from home.
He knew what he was doing. He was inconveniencing me and pushing his weight around to prove his authority.

Because he thought he could

Because he thought he could get away with it--and experience and the sordid history of the SHP were on his side in that regard. However, the trooper appears to have messed with the wrong couple, and he will now most likely pay a price for it.


Just because, I don't believe that he would risk his career over doing something just to do it. Nice try though.


If the media wasnt used--nothing would have been done about this--they are all in bed together---It is shame how our tax dollars pay their salary and they can't give once ounce of respect...I had a run in with a state trooper at a road block recently and I wasn't even driving and they treated me like I had just shot someone...I have never broken a law in my life, but I was treated like I was armed and dangerous. I think they do a tough job, but they should have other ways to channel their anger. I was told to Shut up, He was yelling at me and making comments completely uncalled for--- Someone needs to come in and fire all of them and start with some fresh faces because they must be burnt out....and our safety is at risk. The time they spent on this lady and on the night when my car was pulled, they could have been out on the roads... not booking a sober person, head light is a ticket, not a trip to jail. Maybe this lawyer didnt go about the complaint in all the right ways, but I filed a complaint over a month ago and heard nothing-- Mostly likely it went in the trash----So I dont blame him, maybe I should do the same thing--- These troopers need to be able to read people and apparently they are having problems or they just dont care....


Wilmington PD is hiring new officers all the time.

You sound like a fine candidate since you can type and seem willing to always do the right thing despite virtually everyone hating you.

Starting pay is about 34k a year, a little more if you have a degree. $15.57 - $18.35 hourly depending on your certifications and experiences.

Put up or shut up

Can we see the affidavit the

Can we see the affidavit the trooper signed that included his probable cause for the DWI arrest? That should be public record, and this super dooper attorney should surely be able to get his hands on that at least. It should include whatever the trooper saw that made him think she was impaired.

Pretty trashy

That was pretty trashy for that "Geraldo Rivera wannabe" to go to the Trooper's home. What was the purpose in that? Shameful. Trashy. Very poor attempt to look like your reporter was intimidating someone. Too bad there wasn't a 140 lb Rottweiler to keep him and the camera guy company until the deputies arrived.

This same jerk pulled me

This same jerk pulled me over 2 yrs ago because he said he saw me throwing a cigarette butt out of the window. I haven't smoked for 26 yrs. He flat out lied on the witness stand and was so smug. He treated me just like he treated Gina Tessener. This guy needs to be fired!

Thanks for writing this.

Thanks for writing this. Maybe this should be a class action lawsuit against the state and this trooper.

Count me in!

Count me in!

Ramon Herrera

You should do your homework and wway should be embarrassed to have allowed this inaccurate story to go forward. Do you really believe that this officer would be dumb enough to act the way this 'lawyer' claims, when he knows there are audio and video recordings of him? These recordings WILL prove that the accusatuions against this Trooper were fabricated by this so called lawyer and his wife. The more interesting story to me is ' Why does this lawyer get to point a finger at an exemplary Trooper for doing the job which the taxpayers pay him to do? And why would WWAY be the only 'news outlet' that treats this garbage as news?' If there is something wrong with the laws, then go after the lawmakers, not the lowly Troopers who are charged with carrying them out.

Sharon - thanks for the

Sharon - thanks for the comment. Just so you know, WTVD, WRAL and The News and Observer, all in Raleigh, have also covered this story this week. Just check out their web sites.

Scott Pickey
WWAY News Director

Scott Pickey

I apologize for that mistake. I only checked out the news outlets that I normally use. WECT did not run with this story! That says alot to me. It sounds to me like they (WECT) checked the story out. If this trooper is innocent, and I believe he is, do you think that he will be able to effectively perform his job in this area again? The answer to that is a resounding 'NO'.
I don't dispute that this is news, of course it is. WWAY only provided a biased account of the events. This should not have been reported on until all of the facts were available. His record should speak for itself. He has an exemplary record. Why was that not brought up to begin with?

Know your source


There's something you need to know about media outlets in this market: If there's even a hint of upsetting someone, WECT won't touch a story. For years they have stayed to rear of the R.C. Soles stories. They have not touched other stories that we have done that have touched a nerve with people because we reported the facts of the case, like the Pender County teacher charged with cyberstalking, employees at a fastfood restaurant being tested for TB and so many more.

Now you will argue that shows some sort of bias on our part. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This story and the others I mentioned that we have done are all based in facts. In the case of this trooper, we gave him and the Highway Patrol the chance to comment and tell their side of the story. They have chosen not to. Their unwillingness to talk does not make the story go away. The problem is that some media outlets believe that it does, and that's what leads to people in power abusing their positions.

WECT did not check out this story, because they did not have it. We scooped them. We shared it with our affiliate station in Raleigh, who has run stories parallel to ours. Since then, WRAL, WNCN the News & Observer and the Associated Press have picked up the story. Your vaunted WECT today (two days after we first reported the story) posted a link on their website to WNCN's story, thus showing they know about it, but insulating themselves.

If that's the kind of news you depend on, well, good luck. We believe in news that actually matters and news that makes a difference.

We will continue to follow this and those other stories as they develop and bring you any resolution on either side. If the trooper or the Highway Patrol want to talk, they know where to find us.


No WECT does not report on

No WECT does not report on LIES, unlike a news station I know. When you see the video I hope it proves WWAY wrong and you all will look dumbfounded. And I hope you apologize for false accusations and ruining a man's career. This has gone too far. The couple should not have been on the news, they are the ones power tripping. WWAY when you need a cop/trooper then you will not be doing all this bashing and having false accusations. Even if he keeps his job everybody who he pulls over is going to say he was harassing me. Everybody is looking for their fifteen minuets of fame, even this above society couple. But hey if you want to help them ruin their lives go ahead.

And another thing before you try to bash my mother KNOW YOUR FACTS!!!!