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.
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.