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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We’re learning more tonight about the Raleigh couple that wrote a letter to the governor accusing a trooper of intimidation. It’s a story WWAY broke Tuesday.

There are several discrepancies between what Gina and Hoyt Tessener say happened and the DWI report written by Tpr. Edward Wyrick.

According to the DWI report Wyrick pulled Gina Tessener over around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21, near Wrightsville Beach. He said Tessener turned onto Airlie Road and then another immediate right into a hotel parking lot. Tessener later said that she was in a gravel lot, but the lot is not gravel.

Read the DWI report

Tessener also said after the incident that she had nothing to drink that night. But on the report, Wyrick quoted her saying, “I sipped a glass of wine, but didn’t drink.”

The Highway Patrol says protocol for when a driver has been pulled over on reasonable suspicion includes the officer looking for certain characteristics, including odor, eyes and slurred speech. According to the report, Gina Tessener had moderate odor of an alcoholic beverage and was slightly unsteady on her feet.

A Highway Patrol spokesman also tells WWAY that a driver can be arrested based on an officer’s opinion, even if their blood alcohol level is under the legal limit.

So far we’ve found several discrepancies between the Tessners’ story and the DWI report and video of the interaction with them and Wyrick at the Wrightsville Beach Police Department after Gina Tessener’s arrest.

In the meantime, Wyrick and Tpr. Andrew Smith are on administrative duty during an internal affairs investigation.

We’ve also learned Gina’s husband Hoyt has legal problems of his own. He’s due in court next week in Raleigh on an assault charge for allegedly punching another man in the face in the middle of the night back in December.

We tried to reach Hoyt Tessener today for comment, but he has not called us back.

Comment on this Story

  • raleigh nc guy

    i agree the headlight was a scam, however one thing i keep seeing and hearing is “she said she had a sip of wine at gala”

    her statement in the beginning and continous throughout, “Wyrick asks Gina where she has been. Gina explains that she is returning from a formal Gala for the new President of NCAJ. Wyrick then tells Gina that he smells alcohol on her breath. In response, Gina tells Wyrick that she has not been drinking. Wyrick then asks Gina if she had been around people who were drinking. Gina tells Wyrick there was table wine on the table for anyone to drink along with their meals. Wyrick then orders Gina to exit the car.

    Wyrick again says he smells alcohol. Gina attempts to explain to Wyrick that she had not been drinking any alcohol, is not in any way impaired and that she was with a lot of people who would gladly tell him, if he wants to call. Wyrick laughs at her and says he is not making any calls.”

    it is possible that a person can go to an event and not have anything to drink, so why prosecute her because the officer wrote this in his notes later that evening, is it possible he was tired and couldnt remember what was said and wrote it incorrectly?

  • incredulous

    Report says “Driver’s side headlight was not illuminating.” Unlikely she forgot to turn on her driver’s side headlight but remembered to turn on the passenger side one. Wyrick charged her for drinking when she had a 0.00; don’t you think he would have charged her for the headlight if it had really been out? Or was he just being a nice guy?

    Report says “sipped . . . wine . . . at 6:30.” There is no way he smelled that sip 4 hours and 15 minutes later when he pulled her.

    He did NOT have to arrest her. NC Gen Stat 20-16.2(i) gave the trooper a choice. He could have tested her before arresting or charging her and then released her when she blew 0.00. If she did not know that was her right, he certainly did, and he could have told her, but that was not what he wanted. He wanted to “HAVE” to take her to the Mag’s office to be released.

    Report says no prior contact with Smith en route to jail, but text records show contact before he ever left WBPD. Who’s the liar there?

    90-some per cent of you guys are professional, conscientious and courteous while doing a tough and thankless job. You hurt your reputation though when you jump to the defense of the bad apples in your midst.

  • Big Boy

    “Just because the trooper put it writing does not make it a fact.”

    Remember that. It’s true. Every time a cop’s story differs from the videotape (if available), it means that the cop IS LYING.

    This is SOP for any cop beyond his probationary period.

  • Guestff

    It never seems to amaze me how quick people are to make up stuff to cover a Trooper. The paperwork shows “Blood/Breath Results: 0.00/0.00” in the top left corner. How could he have filled that out before the test was run?

  • Guest33

    The stop was not at 10:15 it was at 10:45. So a sip of wine four hours and a quarter ago still smelled so strongly on her breath that he referred to it “blowing on him” at the roadside stop? That was more than crude.

  • Guest33

    I have no doubt that Wyrick WOULD have beaten the s#!t out of Tessener if he could have ever gotten him alone and out of camera range on a dark road between Wrightsville Beach and Castle Hayne. Like maybe that was why he was so upset when Smith said “I let him go.”

  • SHP from the East

    This trooper has arrested 54 impaired drivers since Jan 1. Only two were below the legal limit. One was .07 and the other was .06. He doesnt make it a habit of taking “low blows” into the Intox rm. Its She was taken for processing because she refused the alco-sensor test on the road. You dont have to cover up the truth. Its easy. The couple has already been caught in lies. They cant keep their stories straight,. The trooper’s version hasnt changed.

  • SHP from the East

    If you actually know this trooper, you would have a different opinion. He has not had any other complaints in his career. He’s level headed and easy going. Since we can’t respond like a normal perosn when treated bad…we get a thick skin very quickly. This couple thinks that they have power. The really dont. The trooper treated them with a professional attitude….look at the videos.

    All the trouble that the Patrol has had have been dealt with….they got fired. But your talking about a news outlets showing a 15 year period. It averaged out to be like 1 a year getting into news media trouble. They were ALL fired. With near 2000 employees (uniform and civilian) that comes out to about 1% or so…

  • SHP from the East

    SInce you were there…you saw both headlights working. Could she forgtten to turn on her lights?….2007 Lexus have day time running lights …. I was not there either. She admitted that she had sipped wine. That would be the presence of alcohol. She refused the alco-sensor test. She gave the trooper no choice but to arrest her. He followed policy and went to the Intox Room. After the result he is required to take her to the mags office. HE did that too. As far as Hoyt restraining himself…he has a pendong assault charge in that county already….

    Hoyt was given directions to the Mags office and asked to follow the trooper. He chose to stand in the parking lot on the phone. The trooper doesnt have to wait for him…realizing that the trooper left…Hoyt speeds down the road and get stopped. Since the all text messages, computer messages, and phone records for trooper are subject to be reviewed at any tiem by a supervisior …(there was no prior contact between troopers)….no set up ….

    She had an indiffernet attitude. In both videos …the trooper was polite, professional. She was not. However, she doeent have to be…no one can hold her accoutable for her actions…..no one will discipline her later.

    Its funny how the public likes to make accusations about the Troopers when something like this happens,…instead of getting both sides first. Since the lawyer’s statement in the second interview and her WRAL interview contradicts their original statements…..cause when you lie…its hard to keep them straight.

    As far as the speeding up and down the hwys with no reason…There would be more collisions if we turned our lights on trying to get to collisions up the road. Because when you see blue lights behind you…you dont automatically move over…you say to yourself ” What did I do?” I was not speeding.. (your still in the way at the point)

    We live in a fish bowel. Personnal and professional…99% percent of us dont mind. For those who make bad decisons///…we fire them

  • Guest33

    I agree that it sounds like the procedure followed once she was arrested was correct, although I have never been sure when she was actually arrested. But this mess started long BEFORE alcohol was an issue, when Wyrick passed a flashy blonde and decided to stop her and get a better look. (1) She was NOT stopped for alcohol. She was stopped for a headlight that WAS NOT out! If it had been, can’t we all agree he would have ticketed her for it? (Warning at least) This was an illegal stop from the git-go. (2) Knowing he had made up the headlight issue, how can we doubt he would have made up odor, unsteadiness and anything else he wanted to IF she had submitted to a field test with no one present but him? (3) Likewise, the cruiser’s alco-sensor does not produce a printout like the breathalyzer at the station, so he could have written any number he wanted to down on that. It would not have been admissible, but he was no longer trying to get a conviction by this point, he was just trying to manufacture some “reasonable suspicion” to cover his tail. (4) He initially wrote “Nothing” in the space for her statements prior to arrest, and clearly came back LATER and ADDED “I had a sip of wine around 6:30 but did not drink.” The stop was at 10:15. So what if she drank a whole glass of wine FOUR HOURS AGO? (5) “Ol’ Hoyt” was following Wyrick and if he was going any faster than Wyrick he would have rear ended him. Why then didn’t Wyrick get pulled for speeding and get a ticket? (Rhetorical question. We all see Troopers whizzing past us on the highway with no apparent need and we know speed limits do not apply to them.)(6) Why was Wyrick so careful to say that he never made contact with Smith “WHILE EN ROUTE to the jail?” Is it because the contact he had with Smith was BEFORE they left the station when both Tesseners saw him texting on his phone? (7) With the things Troopers have been proved to have engaged in over the last couple of years, and under all the circumstances of this situation, the very first thing I would have asked MY wife would have been “Did he touch you?” and, if she said “no,” my second second question would have been “Did he proposition you?”

    I don’t know ol’ Hoyt, but he showed remarkable restraint. I would have probably said something that ticked the Trooper off enough that he’d beat the stuffing out of me and then charge ME with assaulting an officer. It happens all the time. The SHP always agrees to drop the criminal charges and transfer the Trooper if the victim of the beating will agree not to bring a civil suit. Hoyt was smart to keep his cool.

    Not only should Wyrick “be ashamed” (something he apparently is not capable of), but the entire SHP should be ashamed as well.

  • Guest99

    Idiot. I don’t need Hitler Youth wannabes to do anything. I have always done what I had to do and don’t need a moron like you telling me what I need.

    Here’s what I’d like to see: I claim that this trooper is a latent sex offender. I speculate that he was aroused while he had this attractive woman imprisoned.

    There are simple psychological tests that could be administered to eliminate this as a factor… Let’s make this trooper submit to this evaluation.

  • Head on Wall

    You’re still not getting this. She was arrested prior to her blow .00s, therefore she CANNOT, LEGALLY, be released straight from WBPD. She has to go before a judicial official, who then sets the conditions of release. The trooper followed proper protocol and THE LAW.

  • theo

    The NC State Highway Patrol is out of control right now and is prinarily operating with very heavy badges. They have a sense of security knowing they won’t be reigned in for bad behavior due to intimidation of the public.

    The numerous scandals, and the numerous complaints of mistreatment of citizens is starting to stack up. That department needs to be reigned in and understand their role in life – writing tickets to speeders and writing up accident reports.

    It sounds like this trooper had a personal issue with one or both of these people and used the weight of his badge to carry out his vendetta.

    She was unsteady on her feet in heels on gravel and blew a .00? What an ***hole trooper. I think it’s time we started causing the trooper some problems. We need to weed out these badge-heavy ***holes out of the force. The Governor is hiding under her desk and the people need to fight back. Stop being a scared little populace and fight against these Nazis.

    Just my two-cents…

  • Guest1234

    Whatever? Isn’t it possible to smell alcohol or in lamen terms “alcoholic beverage” several hours after the fact? AND he arrested her an hour before she tested…so it’s very possible she had alcohol in her system at the time of stop and when tested. The instrument she was tested on only displays 2 digits, so it is possible she could have been .009. With regard to the arrest, she felt he would have manipulated the pre-arrest test and refused…BOLOGNA! The pre-arrrest test as far as what she blows is not permissible in court, she was scared because she had been drinking (although not much). It just doesn’t add up, the only thing that would have led to no arrest would have been to blow at the scene and to do sobriety test. She and her husband (or crimnal assailant according to records) are just so arrogant to believe that they are untouchable….well maybe not the husband? Did he touch you….wow….really!

  • Guest 1006

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see who pays. I would strongly recommend that you don’t bet the farm on Tesserner paying anything. She still blew a .00 and should have been released at WBPD.

  • Guest 1006

    Just because the trooper put it writing does not make it a fact. Could it be that he was just covering his butt after she blew .00?
    No one will ever know, but the bottom line is she never should have been charged.
    With the hot lights on the NCSHP and Bev Perdue you can be sure the trooper is going to come up short.

  • Guest9999

    Here is Hoyt Tessener’s link according to NC Courts:

    Citation Query by Defendant Name

    Officer Name Agency Officer
    Number Court
    Date County Session Court
    Room Defendant Citation

    Tessener made some bold face lies with his 8 page letter that you(WWAY) ate up with a spoon like it was ice cream. You’re broadcasting of these events made you look like a high news show. Thats the one thing I’ve started to see with the news station: Who ever tells the tale first you correct no matter what BS they say. Tessener played your news station like a fiddle. Never once did Ramon ask if Tessener had had any dealings with Law Enforcement before. Looks like he has according NC Courts. Hell, he has a court date for assault. Maybe he was seeking revenge against any and all Law Enforcement for being ticketed for punching some guy in the face in December. Finally, this news station is crap. You went to the Trooper’s house before any guilt has been proven. Then you reported the Trooper had a wife, who answered the door. Which he doesn’t. Where in the hell does yor News Station recieve and confirm its alleged stories. WWAY, you’re station should be ashamed of its self for allowing this worthless SACK so much time in the Limelight. WWAY, The other thing you should do is make on television appology to the Trooper for you’re siding with the Tressener. Frankly, If I was the Trooper, I’d sue the piss out of your news station for slander.

  • Guest2008957

    I don’t know who is right or wrong in this case, but do know that law enforcement in all departments like to show their weight. Speaking from personally experience. I really don’t have much trust in the law enforcement or the court systems these days.

  • Piersitter

    “When the officer testifies that he/she smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage on the suspect’s breath, he/she is saying that he/she was smelling the aldehydes and ketones that are by-products as the alcohol breaks down in a person’s body” If there is no alcohol in the body (o.oo on the intoximeter) there are no aldehydes and ketones to SMELL

  • Brian

    I’ve read the 8 page complaint the first page of which Hoyt lets the Governor know who he is, what he does, and who he knows. It stunk of hey look at me, look what I’ve done. What surprised me is that he wasn’t even there when all of this took place and yet he is doing all of the talking. Next we see this video and he comes in screaming did he touch you? Please talk about looking for trouble.

    I surely hope the media stays on this guy if it is revealed that he has exaggerated these claims. I’ve read reports where he is supposedly a law professor at Campbell University. He is an officer of the court and he should be held to the same ethical standard that the officers are, and further it blows my mind that he thought his wife who blew below the legal limit could just be un-arrested. Legal 101 should have told him that requires a judicial official for release procedures.

    If this investigation shows the troopers were right then I believe that they should sue this couple for what is surely seen as defamation of their character.

  • Guest1712

    Just because the trooper put it writing does not make it a fact. Could it be that he was just covering his butt after she blew .00?

    It is apparent that you certainly did not watch the video in detail. The paperwork the trooper filled out was BEFORE the test was ran. It never seems to amaze me how quick people are to judge without hearing both sides of the story.

    In the end, the Tesserner’s will be paying $$$$.

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