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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.

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77 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Attorney and wife talk after meeting with Highway Patrol"

2015 years 9 months ago

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.

2015 years 9 months ago

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.

2015 years 9 months ago

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!

2015 years 9 months ago

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.

2015 years 9 months ago

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.


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