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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Two state troopers are off the road after a Raleigh couple accused the duo of wrong doing. WWAY broke this story Tuesday, and tonight we take a closer look at what happened after the traffic stop last week near Wrightsville Beach.

We’ve obtained video from inside the Wrightsville Beach Police Department that tells a slightly different story than what the couple has told.

This week Hoyt and Gina Tessener have come out both in a letter to the governor and on camera telling us about their run-in with a trooper they say tried to intimidate them.

The Highway Patrol and the trooper accused have declined opportunities to tell us their side of the story. But tonight video from that night gives us a closer look at what really happened.

In the video from inside the Wrightsville Beach Police Department, you can see Gina Tessener and Tpr. Edward Wyrick Jr. walk in. Wyrick arrested Tessener on suspicion of drinking and driving.

Less than a minute goes by before the trooper takes off her handcuffs. A minute later he reads Tessener her rights. After that he gives her her cell phone.

“You can make all the phone calls you want,” Wyrick says. “If you have any questions, ask.”

Tessener gets on her phone, and her call is answered. She explains what’s going on.

Fifteen minutes go by, and Tpr. Wyrick returns. He asks Tessener if she wants to answer some questions or wait for her husband, who is an attorney. He even tells Gina Tessener what some of the questions may be.

“If you want me to wait till he gets here, I’ll wait for him if you want to,” Wyrick says.

The pair pass a few minutes chatting. Wyrick asks Tessener what kind of law he practices and makes a joke about how many attorneys he sees on his job.

“I have a lot of people come in and say, ‘I’m an attorney,'” Wyrick said. “I say, ‘What kind of attorney?’ They say, ‘Real estate.'”

Eleven minutes later, Gina’s husband Hoyt arrives. Wyrick asks Gina to confirm it’s him before letting Hoyt into the secure area.

As soon as he walks in, Hoyt Tessener points at the trooper and asks his wife, “Did he touch you?” Gina tells him, “No.”

Hoyt and Gina Tessener whisper to each other as they wait for Wyrick to call them in to the next room for the breath test. When Wyrick calls them in, Gina blows a 0.00 blood alcohol level. They wait for the machine to recalibrate, and again, Gina blows a 0.00.

“I did blow a 0.00 twice,” Gina Tessener told us during an interview Wednesday. “He asked me to do it again. It was at this point where he became angry.”

During our interview, Hoyt Tessener said, “He did the second one and told us to leave for that one, and Gina left to the other room, and I didn’t. I stood exactly where I was, and he came up and put his chest within an inch of my shoulder telling me to leave, and I stood there until the minute it showed again 0.00.”

But the video shows something slightly different. Tpr. Wyrick tells them to leave after the result shows up and does not get as close to Hoyt Tessener as the couple made it seem. Wyrick even backs up when Gina walks back in to get something off the desk.

After the couple walks out, the trooper tells Hoyt to go to the waiting area.

“I’m an attorney,” Hoyt says.

Wyrick says he needs to wait outside, and Hoyt agrees. The Tesseners share a few word, before Hoyt points at Wyrick and says something that sounds like, “You should be checked.”

“I’m sorry?” Wyrick responds.

When Hoyt Tessener says, “0.00,” referring to the breath test results, Wyrick points at Hoyt to leave and follows him to the door.

It is only at this point that Wyrick begins to look agitated.

The trooper walks back into the room, and Gina Tessener addresses him in a much higher voice than before.

Later, Wyrick appears to be texting on his phone, as the Tesseners alleged.

“This whole sting he set up,” Gina Tessener said. “What I felt like at this moment is that he didn’t want this to come out.”

The Tesseners suspect Wyrick texted another trooper, because later when Wyrick takes Gina to the New Hanover County Jail to see a magistrate, Tpr. Andrew Smith pulls over Hoyt, who is following Wyrick to the jail.

The Tesseners also accused Wyrick of giving them inaccurate information by saying Gina was headed “downtown” to see the magistrate and be released. In the Wrightsville Beach Police Department video, you can hear Tpr. Wyrick twice tell Gina where he’s taking her.

“Alright, ma’am. I gave your husband the directions to the jail,” Wyrick says as he returns to get Gina for transport. “Can you stand for me?”

Wyrick then handcuffs Gina before they head out to his car.

The Tesseners told us Wednesday they were disappointed to learn that Wyrick was still on active duty as the Highway Patrol’s Internal Affairs investigators look into what happened. Thursday Gov. Perdue released a statement say both Wyrick and Smith had been put on administrative duty during the investigation.

“The policy of this administration is zero tolerance for unacceptable behavior,” Gov. Perdue said in her statement. “We expect the absolute best from state employees. This incident has been under investigation since it came to light. These two troopers have been placed on administrative duty. The Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety and the Colonel of the Highway Patrol will take appropriate action upon completion of their investigation.”

Comment on this Story

  • Wife of a Law Enforcement Officer

    I strongly agree!!!!! Our Law Enforcement Officers risk their lives every day and do not think twice in saving others! Our law enforcement is often forgotten about; just like our very troops, who reiterate our American Freedom….they sacrifice time spent with their family and miss- out on the precious moments of rearing their children. The only difference between the American Troops and our law Enforcement is that our troops are acknowledged throughout the year through holiday, and military events. Our brave Law Enforcement officers are often forgotten about. I would applaud them if they were waiting for the drunks to leave the bars and get them off the streets before they kill someone’s CHILD!!!! THAT is their JOB!!!! And let me tell all who think the Police are out to entrap them, they are not getting paid enough to put their LIFE on the line. I strongly commend them because I would never do it…
    All must remember, if you break the law you pay the price!!!!!!
    I angers me so when I hear the media, and others slander the Hero’s in our community…. If the media hyped-up all the GOOD the community Hero’s do, maybe the criminals would think twice about committing crimes, because they are going to be caught. It would also instill in the younger generation to respect the LAW!!!!

    A concerned wife who prays every night that her husband comes home to his children!!!

  • Tourist

    My wife and I are people who have gone to Wrightsville about once every 3 months as visitors (tourists), usually for a few days, for the last several years. We have come at all times of the year, and we have spent a lot of money, for us, at our hotel and various WB restaurants. We’ve enjoyed our trips, even though we have always known that one has to be careful because not everyone at the beach is upstanding. Now, judged from a distance, the story leaves us with the feeling that if we go to WB we will also need to be fearful of unwarranted stops by the police, based on untrue allegations of “headlight violation” or for some other minor fault, and that the result likely will be that one of us will be arrested and poorly treated, just for being female, or for going out to eat at a “suspicious” place and then trying to come back to bed, or for having a car that is too expensive. We are little people, and we know we can’t fight the law and win. Please understand that for us this is a scary story. We take it also as a warning. Maybe Wrightsville Beach is no longer a good destination for those of us who are just ordinary visitors.

  • susie

    Well – I personally think that the attorney and his prescious wife think they are above the Law. If you have followed the story closely he has a problem with law enforcement. I am so glad that these two troopers did their job. I also know for a fact that they should have never been put on administrative leave. They did nothing to warrent this type of discipline. The only reason that happen is because the wife’s husband (who is an attorney as stated before) sent so many letters out to high officials and the Governor.This is why they got put on administrative duty. So they should have let the troopers sgts handle this ( what happen to the chain of command)and NEVER GIVEN THE ATTORNEY AND HIS WIFE THE TIME OF DAY. I am so sick of people who think because of their profession or if they have money PEOPLE pay more attention to them. I also feel the NEWs media should have never put the troopers faces on TV till they did a more indept investation because of the safety of them and their families.Because as it turns out THE TROOPERS DID THEIR JOB!!!!!! Now other people are going to think they can claim this same behavior.
    I am so glad that the NCSHP is there to PROTECT ME AND MY FAMILY.
    I want RALEIGH AND ALL who were involve to appolgize to these two troopers!!!! Because if it was me I WOULD find A NICE LITTLE ATTORNEY WHO UP HOLDS THE LAW AND SUPPORTS OUR law ENFORCEMENT AND I WOULD SUE!!!!!!

    SO for the one who thinks our Troopers sit and wait on some DRUNK and targets you specfically – There job is to PROTECT AND SERVE and to get that type of behavior off the street, to protect me and my family from the risk of death from a drunk driver..GO NCSHP TROOPERS!!!!

    I also would like the news media to do a positive story on the NORTH CAROLINA STATE HIGHWAY PATROL. Their jobs,family, and life is on the line everyday.

    Signed Health Care worker who sees this everyday!!!!!

  • J Bowman

    I am amazed at how many people incorrectly think they know the law in reference to DWI’s. I’m also amazed at this alleged lawyer’s lack of knowledge, and the manner in which he acted in this incident. As Mr. Tessener caused the two troopers to be investigated and put on desk duty for lies he fabricated, perhaps the proper response would be for the NC Bar Association to suspend Tessener’s law license until the incident is investigated. Tessener is a licensed lawyer who is a member of the legal system. He should be held to a higher standard than that of a lying criminal. There is no time during the entire time of the video that would support Tessener’s claim of the trooper “puffing up his chest, an inch from my shoulder”. His claim of intimidation is taken very seriously as it could lead to federal charges of civil rights violations. The way I view the incident is that the trooper went too far in trying to be extra nice to a very attractive woman. Then again we are human beings. I heard the trooper tell the woman she could make as many phone calls as she wished, as he gave her back her cell phone. She is only entitled to one telephone call to contact someone and advise them of her situation. The trooper gave her the cell phone, so that she could make calls without incurring the expense. The trooper was way more accommodating than I would have been. If as claimed, it was a setup or whatever you wish to call it, the trooper could have placed Mrs. Tessener in a cell for several hours waiting to see a commissioner. Just because a person blows 0.00 on a breathalyzer means absolutely nothing. Perhaps the person has just smoked some dope, or maybe the person has snorted some coke, or maybe the person has ingested some pills or other drug. Being charged with DWI, means just that, Driving While Impaired. It does not state what the agent is that causes the person to be impaired. A person could have a bad exhaust pipe that sends carbon monoxide into the passenger department. If the trooper does not smell the CO, and he wouldn’t because it is odorless, the trooper only has what he witnesses. In this incident the person would have a very legitimate excuse for her driving, and/or their demeanor. But that is not for the trooper to discover. This excuse would be presented at court and the case dismissed. This is the way our forefathers set up our juris prudence system, and it has worked incredibly well for a long time. Unless a blood test was taken, and I don’t believe it was, we may never know why the woman appeared impaired by the trooper. I do know that we place a great deal of responsibility in the hands of our sworn law enforcement officers. Until proven otherwise, I place my belief in law enforcement being honest, truthful, and out only to serve their agency. I am not saying that law enforcement is never wrong, only that they use good faith in any decisions they make. I also believe that Mr. Tessener’s behavior was totally reprehensible and unprofessional of a member of the judicial system. If any mistakes took place, and I firmly believe they did not, the esteemed lawyer/husband should bear a portion of the blame. A lawyer is held to a higher standard because he serves the courts. I would think a lawyer would be more believable than an average person who is charged with a crime. Lying to law enforcement is a crime. If the troopers were found guilty of misconduct due the Mr. Tessener’s claims of intimidation, I believe a very winnable law suit could be filed. Of all of the people you would think knows about lawsuits, I would think it would be someone who makes a living out of filing them. Perhaps the Tessener’s are very nice, and respectable. Perhaps they over-reacted. I can understand Mr. Tessener feeling he must do something to help his wife. The old saying of “A lawyer who represents himself, has a fool for a client”, is applicable to wives too. If I were an attorney giving advice to the pair, I would tell them to withdraw the complaint, and to write a heartfelt apology to the troopers. Otherwise this story is going to have a real long life in Wilmington’s media circles, and I would imagine in other media areas as well as legal circles.

  • BinLadenWon

    The law is broken when a Judge says so, not the police. Videos always go missing when it’s convenient for the police and there’s nothing more ridiculous than an investigation when it’s an internal one. Police have it made when it comes to policing themselves, Democrats would never oppose them because of their union power and Republicans would never oppose them for appearing soft on crime.

  • Donna

    Trooper Wyrick did the job he took an oath to do. Stopping one late at night for a headlight problem is simply doing his job!! Questioning the odor of alcohol on or about ones person is another example of doing his job!! If one refuses the field test that is an automatic trip to the station (in handcuffs) for “suspected” DUI…still doin’ his job. Watching the video..do NOT see Trooper Wyrick doing anything wrong. 2 tests blown in station is STANDARD!
    Once arrested for “suspected” DUI..one MUST be released by the magistrate NOT the Trooper no matter the test results! Troopers report states she was “sipping wine” earlier in the evening…so..(admittedly by the suspect) she sipped..so is very possible for the odor to linger even with a 0.00 test result. As for her husbands vehicle being stopped…maybe the officer wasn’t comfortable being followed by and obviously angry husband and asked the other officer to detain him for just a few seconds.(Maybe not the best idea..but surely not criminal) I think this Trooper did his job and should NOT be reprimanded by anyone. JMO

  • Pbk

    The attorney–husband entered the station and said “did he touch you?” The attorney–husband came in acting like a husband not an attorney. When the attorney trys to throw his weight around like he knows what’s going on it looks like the attorney is trying to “intimidate” the officer by not leaving the room when asked to. The witnesses responsibility is to watch the test, nothing more.

  • info411

    Its not the first time this same incident has happened. the others just havent made anything of it. the officers wait outside of the bar down at the beach and follow people back to their hotel or home, and extra beware if you have a out of state tag. I worked at this hotel thats on arlie and seen it happen many times and all have been followed from the bar, and pulled over in the parkinglot, and questioned for drinking and then arrested. I understand if they were drinking and driving but theres been so many incidents, and hey I have to give it to them they at least were alert enough to make it back to where their staying. I do not agree with wb police, I think they dont see enough crime so they make a big scene about everything.. get a life wb police!

  • GuestMe

    The story never said he was texting WHILE driving. I think it has also been discussed here ad nauseum that anyone being taken to jail is cuffed for the troopers protection. He wasn’t picking on this poor little princess. Notice how there was nothing in big-man lawyer’s letter about her “sipping, but not drinking.” Is that like smoking, but not inhaling???

  • Mel

    Actually no she was not detained. She was arrested. She was placed in handcuffs and was not free to leave. NCGS covers this. However, I am 100% behind SHP.

  • Southern born

    HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA, did i not read somewhere that he thinks this officer should be trained or retrained..

    I support the SHP officer
    1. He acts like an adult
    2. He appears to be professional
    3. He was out late at night stopping people he didn’t know in order to make the roads safe.
    4. He puts his life on the line for others.
    5. He sacrifices his evenings and weekends so that he can protect and serve
    6. He has to put up with Attorneys on regular basis.
    7. He sits in court all day for trials
    8. He has to say goodbye to his family not knowing whether he will ever see them again..
    9. He doesn’t know which day or night will be the one here he has to make a decision that could end in the taking of a life or the giving of his

    10. He is a victim of his own sacrifices and decisions, as its hard to be popular when enforcing the law and actually fulfilling your duty.

    Please tell me this investigation is over, the only smoke here is from the fire in Pender county.

  • Mel

    Negative the trooper did NOT break the law!! U must submit to chemical analysis tests. Just bc she blew a 0.00 does not mean she was not impaired. Alcohol dissipates at around .015 an hour. Combine that with medication and drugs and u have an impaired driver. Give me a break. Learn the law. Once ur arrested u have to be brought b4 the magistrate. He can then decide if there is no pc and release the subject. Oh and mr lawyer. Next time since u know the law so well ask for a pre-arrest test. Would have saved everyone from ur pity party gull of lies and exaggerations Trooper should sue u for defamation of character. Hmmm

  • Sarah

    think about it from the couples perspective, if i was the woman i would be 100% scared why would he continue to put her in hand cuffs after she blew a 0.00 twice! an officer should know better than to text and drive especially if he has another person in the car. and of course i would be confused/scared/pissed if i got a call in the middle of the night and found out my wife got falsely arrested and intimidated by a cop. and this guy is a personal injury lawyer.. so for all you lawyer haters out there he is the one defending you! this mans job is speaking up for people who are unable to speak for themselves and thats exactly what he is doing now. it takes a lot of sand to do what they are doing coming out and standing up for what they think is right while taking all the heat and judgement people are sending their way.

  • Guest789

    Oh here we go another person trying to get 15 minutes of fame, If your husband didnt break the law he wouldnt have been in jail!

  • JSteele

    Google the Trooper’s report or read the articles. Trooper wrote “moderate odor of alcohol” on his report.

  • Guest789

    What? How did he break the law?? He pulled her over for a headlight being out, he said he smelled alcohol which is probable cause to do a field sobriety, which she plain out refused, so he arrested her on suspicion and took her to jail. What makes her so above the law??

  • Guestdisisbs

    Stay tuned it gets better….. and don’t forget. “I told you so”

  • Guest1

    I find it interesting that the video is running this night, yet it “wasn’t available” the night my husband was abused by law enforcement. My how the laws change for convenience.

  • Liberty Bell

    It’s hilarious that Guestdisisbd accuses the lawyer of being “ignorent.”
    Who’s the “ignorent” one? Nor did Ms. Tessener say she drank anything that night. Your post is a bonanza of misinformation. “Majority [sic] of these people hate law enforcement…” Give me a break. I think it’s you who needs the breathalyzer test. Call Trooper Wyrick–maybe he can put you in handcuffs and lock you up.

  • NCemergencyservant

    Did you know that you can drink then stop drinking for a period of time blow 0 and still smell it on a persons breath. It happens all the time like when you wake up after a night of having a few drinks the smell is on you as you sweat and on your breath. She was not falsely arrested she was detained there is a BIG difference.

  • Guestdisisbd

    Is your news team going to attempt to contact this ignorent lawyer for a another story and have him try to explain all the lies he told,that is if you can find him? I think it pitiful people are still complaining that this woman blew a 0.0 atleast an hour after the stop and she admitted to drinking that night(although not much) but enough to give off the odor at the time of stop. When the rest of the story is out its still will be sad that these idiots are trying to down the trooper for doing nothing wrong. Majority if these people hate law enforcement in general and there is nothing that will change their mind

  • Its me

    Only the attorney and his wife say the trooper said “odor of alcohol.” We have not seen a copy of the trooper’s report just hearsay of the lying attorney. Perhaps he notified glassy eyes or slurred speech which gave him probable cause to ask her to perform the field sobriety tests which she refused. Perhaps she was strung out on pills… Just saying, again we have only the attorney’s account on the trooper claiming to smell alcohol and obviously the attorneys recollection of what happened and the video are entirely different.

  • Guest3659874

    I hear all this I hate lawyer, support the trooper jargon and it shows me why gov’t doesn’t work. Look at the people electing them. Like or hate this lawyer, we need to not lose sight of one thing….This woman blew a 0.00 and was falsely arrested. Period. The trooper made a mistake when he arrested her, professionally or not, and now he needs to admit his mistake. The real issue is not speculation. If she blew a 0.00, then he did not smell alcohol on her breath. Therefore he had no probable cause to arrest her. Period. You can hate a lawyer all day, and believe me I think they are bottom feeding scumsuckers. But you can’t argue with the law. And the trooper did break it, like it or not.

  • MikeG

    Leave or duty, either way these fine men are off the streets where they belong. Lets get Perdue off her pedestal and reverse her decision before more drunks do damage to our community.
    Its a shame that the Wilmington Troopers get a bad rap, but the last time I heard they were one of the top offices in the state with DWI arrests, so they must be doing something right……their job.

  • Sickofit

    …ones that sided with this couple. After looking at the video, I don’t blame the officer for getting a little perturbed at the “you need to be checked out” remark from the lawyer. That being said, I still don’t understand how the trooper said he “smelled alcohol on her breath” but the breathalizer revealed a 0.00 (twice). On top of that, why was her husband stopped by another trooper on the way to the jail and why was she even having to go to jail for blowing a 0.00 twice? I still think it was a case of, “I’l show you whos boss” rather than, heres your ticket for a burned out headlight.

  • Scott Pickey

    Mike – thanks for the comment – but the troopers were put on administrative duty – not leave. They’re still at work, just not on the streets.


    Scott Pickey
    WWAY News Director

  • Guest910

    I still can’t call this trooper-vs-tessener yet. My gut tells me she’s guiltier than the tesseners want to admit. And the trooper is guilty of that trooper-swag they’ve always been allowed to have. My guess is that she’s a pill-popper and the trooper was correct to pull her over (probably swerving, slurred speech); trooper mistakenly assumed drunk driving and cuffed her, assuming the breathlyzer would get her; Hoyt probably knows this and is making a huge scene to discredit the trooper and avoid court.

  • Guesttttttttttttttttttt

    “Did he touch you?” Ugh. Relax dude. It’s possible for virtually any man to be in the presence of your princess and keep himself under control.

    The story falls apart with the video showing the trooper never getting an inch away and standing there menacingly. He even backed up as Mrs. Tessener walked back in. The portion regarding the trooper grimacing as her second test came in at 0.0 also wasn’t the case until the trooper became agitated with Mr. Tessener.

    Lesson to be learned here: make sure you have your story straight and accurate in this world where cameras are omnipresent. There’s usually one in ceiling of any building or in the smart phone of the guy next to you. How embarrassing for this couple. I hope this story goes national as an example to others that you’re always on camera.

  • JB

    I didn’t need to read this story to know that the entire letter was a bunch of crap! This man lies for a living and how dare he try to destroy the lives and reputations of people who do not deserve this kind of treatment only to gain more for himself! I just hope this proves to all of you who were so quick to judge and say that they should have been fired on the spot that you need to wait for more facts and the truth to come out before opening your mouths!

  • Guest28405

    I remember somewhere along the line the couple had stated if an apology had been given this would have all been over with. Well, it appears like they may be owing the trooper an apology, not to mention maybe writing a big check to him when he sues their butt off and maybe even getting disbarred when he’s brought up on charges of filing a false report.
    The video doesn’t lie but his letter sure did. I didn’t see anything ounce of truth from what he claimed that happened and what one can see with their own eyes, other than maybe the texting thing, but we still don’t know who the trooper texted. I’m sure the HP will get some cell phone records and show that as well.
    Of course we can’t see what happened roadside so if this man and woman lie over what was video taped, what do you think they will say if it wasn’t.
    Hope the lawyer gets his day in court to defend himself.

  • MikeG

    If someone should be killed by a drunk driver this weekend there will be no need to blame the Highway Patrol, all blame should be personally put on Governor Perdue who had the Troopers placed on administration leave without any investigation done. Thats two less Troopers to patrol this weekend.
    After watching that video who is the liar now?
    The bodies fall on you Perdue.
    The FOP wll remember you at election time.
    Once again government corruption and the atta-boy network at work.

  • Just Wondering

    Can the Tessener’s be held accountable for refunding all the taxpayers money that has been spent on this investigation if the troopers are found not guilty?

  • Das Weibstück

    “Did he touch you?” was the first thing Mr. Tessener said. Unreal !

    He came in the police station with an attitude. “I’m a lawyer” (personal injury).

    Did Hoyt not know he was being filmed? The officer was nowhere near Hoyt…an inch from him ???? Wow

    She also didn’t have on an evening gown, she had on a dress.

    Now lets see about the texts and the pullover by Wyrick’s buddy which if true seems wrong.

  • Guest54321

    “Later, Wyrick appears to be texting on his phone, as the Tesseners alleged.”

    Odd time for the trooper to be texting someone. Wonder what was so important?

  • sharon darity

    Gee, maybe he was texting his girlfriend, or another Trooper. I think it is only illegal to text while’Driving’, not standing around. And if this lawyer was as big an ass to the second trooper as he was to the first one, I’m surprised he let him go!
    Oh, and let’s not forget that there will be a record of this trooper’s text message. Just like there was a video disproving the lawyer’s story!
    I also agree that everything should be done to get these troopers back on the road for the holiday weekend.
    Govenor Perdue needs to Make that Happen!The public’s safety should be her Prority in this case!!!

  • disisbs

    9 comments??? Come on people. You were so quick to judge. What have you got to say to defend this lying lawyer now? Funny how a little bit of investigating leads to other things. Like I hope this dude does not defend himself in court in wake county in July for the case against him.

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