make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: As HP investigation nears end, a look at differing stories

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: As HP investigation nears end, a look at differing stories

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's been more than a week since WWAY broke the story involving a Raleigh couple who accused two Highway Patrol troopers of crossing the line. The Highway Patrol says an internal investigation underway since the allegations came to light will soon come to a close.

Gina and Hoyt Tessener claimed troopers Edward Wyrick and Andrew Smith bullied them during a visit to the coast for a conference. Documents, recording and other information released since we broke the story give us a closer look at the many discrepancies in the different versions of the story.

The story starts with a long letter attorney Hoyt Tessener sent to Gov. Bev Perdue and more than a dozen other political heavyweights. The letter tells the Tesseners' account of an incident on June 21 into June 22, when Hoyt's wife Gina was pulled over near Wrightsville Beach as she left a gala in downtown Wilmington.

The Tesseners say Tpr. Wyrick pulled the mother of three over because he said a headlight on her Lexus sedan was out. A photo they provided shows the headlight working.

"He then turns to me and says, 'I smell alcohol on your breath,'" Gina Tessener said in her first TV interview June 28.

The Tesseners claimed in the letter and on camera that Gina did not have anything to drink that night.

"I didn't drink," she said in our interview.

But a DWI report says she told Wyrick she sipped a glass of wine.

The Tesseners claim the trooper then asked Gina to perform a field sobriety test. Gina was uncomfortable with his request due to the circumstances.

"I was in a cocktail dress," she said. "I had high heels on."

The Tesseners also claimed gina was in gravel lot, but Wyrick's DWI report says the stop was in a paved hotel lot.

After refusing the field tests, Gina wound up in cuffs and on her way to the Wrightsville Beach Police Department to take a breath test.

The Tesseners' letter claims that at the police station Wyrick allowed Gina one phone call and remained within inches of her as she called her husband. Vvideo from the police station shows a much different scene.

"You can make all the phone calls you want," Wyrick said as he handed Tessener her phone. "If you have any questions, ask me."

After Hoyt arrived, Gina passed two breath test, blowing a 0.00 each time.

"It was at this point where he became angry," Gina Tessener said.

Hoyt told us, "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."

Again, the video tells a different story. Wyrick told the Tesseners to leave after the result showed up and did not get as close to Hoyt Tessener as the couple said.

Matthew Ragone was also in the intake area on a DWI charge. Despite blowing more than twice the legal limit, Ragone said in an exclusive interview with WWAY that Wyrick stayed calm the entire time.

"The officer himself kept his cool pretty well, asked the man multiple times to please calm down," Ragone said.

You can also see Gina walking around. Though Wyrick noted in his report that she was unsteady on her feet, she does not appear to be unstable on her high heels.

As the night of June 21 turned into the morning of June 22 the Wrightsville Beach Police Department video shows Gina Tessener still in custody. The Tesseners say it was at this time that they saw Tpr. Wyrick texting on his phone. Seventeen minutes later, Wyrick and Gina head to the New Hanover County Jail to see a magistrate.

Hoyt Tessener says he was following Wyrick, when another trooper, Andrew Smith, pulled him over for speeding. The Tesseners think the whole thing was a set-up organized by text message.

Tuesday the Highway Patrol released text messages between the two troopers prior to Hoyt's run-in with Smith. There's nothing suggesting a set-up; just an account of what Wyrick was going through with the Tessesners. Tpr. Smith, though, responded to the message saying "f*** her and f*** him."

After Smith let Hoyt Tessener go with a warning, computer messages between the troopers' cruisers show that while Wyrick was on the way to the jail he received this message from smith: "Tell him if he wants to cop an attitude to feel free and come back ill stroke him that speed."

Two minutes later and before Wyrick arrived at the jail he sent this back to Smith "How fast," with Smith replying, "58."

The Tesseners say once at the jail Gina faced a rude magistrate, who told her she's "one of those who thinks you're better than everybody else." The video of her hearing with the magistrate does not have audio. You can see the magistrate and Gina talking to one another.

We contacted the Highway Patrol today, but there's still no comment. A spokesman did say, though, the patrol is in the final stages of the investigation, which should wrap up very soon.

Meanwhile Hoyt Tessener is scheduled to be in court in Raleigh tomorrow morning for allegedly punching a bar manager in the face back in December. The Tesseners have not returned our calls for comment since our interview last week.

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.


If you think that these

If you think that these officers or any others out there don't think they are above reproach, then you live in a dream world. It's obvious that these two were out for jokes, starting with the other trooper pulling over the husband and Wyrick trying to get him to follow at a faster speed. The whole situation is ridiculous and the officers have some questions to answer. I'm not saying they should be fired but they obviously need more training on how to deal with the general public.

Oh ok, they were just doing

Oh ok, they were just doing their job by giving an additional sobriety test for someone who already blew 0.00. It's absolutely reasonable for her to refuse taking that test on the side of the road if she was in high heels because the ground would lead to instability. Sipping on a glass of wine is drinking but again she blew double zero, so what was the point. She was someone who stood up to the crooked arm of the law and questioned him, so he got pissed off and had to prove a point.

Joeseph, you sir are an idiot

She blew 0.0 after she refused the sobriety test. Get your lies straight. You must be related to the troll himself

Well Mr. Guestcraziness I am

Well Mr. Guestcraziness I am not an idiot but I think you are by the way you spell my name and by juvenile name calling but on to the facts. I am not related to the "troll" as you say. I'm referring to the additional tests at the station that she also blew double zero on. I couldn't be further non related from the lady who was mistreated. I am an American, who happens to be of black race but I support this topic still. The story now is that Wyrick was totally ok and Smith was the idiot for doing the bidding of his buddy, Wyrick. He didn't do the right thing and that's why he got punished. Now his punishment is nothing more than a little window dressing but it's punishment still and he now knows that what he did was wrong and Wyrick will think twice before he gets his fellow officers involved in his antics from now on. I have no problem with the police in general because I follow the laws as they are and I keep Johnny Law out of my business. If that was my wife being pulled over on a dark road by an alleged officer of the law sworn to protect and serve I would have her do the same thing. If she's sober, then the arrest will be nothing more than a small formality. Better safe than sorry!!!!

You obviously have not been

You obviously have not been reading the story... There was no additional sobriety test done. She refused them at the scene. If by that you mean the 2 at WBPD he has to ask for 2. That is the law. If she refused the second she would of lost her license for 13 months from the DMV not the court. Still not seeing anything crooked or him being pissed.... looks like you go a ticket that you could not get out of...

Uhm yes Pat I would like to buy a clue....

What additional test are you talking about? Yes it is absolutely reasonable for her to refuse testing on the side of the road, and it is standard practice if you refuse then you are taken to the nearest testing facility. The trooper follow SOP. You have no clue what you are talking about do you? How do you know this officer was crooked? You don't do you? Just making it up as you go along?

These people make me sick.

These people make me sick. All she had to do was take a roadside test and be on her way. They feel like for some reason they are above the law. Should lock them both away for a couple weeks so they can learn some humility.

she should give up her rights as a convinence to the police?

You should be ashamed of yourself, What country do you think you live in? She has a legal right under the law to refuse a roadside field sobriety test. That is not only in NC but in all the other 49 states.

Problem with this incident is no one's story seems to match the available facts. The only thing not disputable here is the two troopers texts which clearly show they were out to teach these two a lesson.

Indeed you are correct..

Just as he had every right to take her in for testing. Kinda works both ways. It is in fact disputable that the two troopers texts shows they were out to teach anyone a lesson. It was two male troopers texting. Not sure what they said that was so awful. As far as the cussing goes it didn't offend the person sending nor recieving the text. So deal with it.

can you repeat that?

Atleast there are still a few that know what the real issue here is

Amen to that. At the end of

Amen to that. At the end of the day, what the NC Highway Patrol are left with are no broken headlight, no alcohol and a blatant expletive filled tirade that shows just the amount of disdain that most law enforcement officers have for those they are paid to protect. Also, we should consider this, all attempts of providing "objective" evidence for her alleged crimes were met with resistance by these officers. Of course, if she had succumbed to "subjective" road side tests that were offered by this officer, everyone thinks that would have just made everything easier. Whatever your feelings are regarding wealthy personal injury attorneys and their "trophy wives", we all now have better understanding of what are rights are and how out of control many of our law enforcement officers really are.

At the end of the day?

At the end of the day you are still talking about headlights, 0.00's and trying to sympathize with a man shown to be a LIAR. Did you watch the same video that I saw? He made several accusations that any reasonable person can see are lies. He didn't "exaggerate a little" or tell a "slightly different story", He gave false statements. The truth is NOT in Mr. Tessener. The "photo proof" of a the working headlamp was provided by, guess who, Mr Tessener. Why put faith in anything this man says? He has shown his true colors. How simple would it have been to go to Auto-Zone and pick up a replacement bulb for the one that was bad? It's an easy fix. How simple then would it have been to take a picture of the headlamp, and send off an 8 page letter crying wolf? As far as Mrs Tessener goes, she refused 3 subjective tests and one objective test prior to her arrest. The portable breath tester can not be manipulated by the officer. It wouldn't matter if she were in a parking lot in high heels or seated comfortably in her car, it just shows a reading that would represent breath alcohol concentration. That's four opportunities that she was given to determine if she were safe to drive. She refused all tests, *prior* to her arrest. These tests are used to determine if a driver is safe to drive on the same highways that you and your family use. They are also used to determine if a driver is impaired and unsafe to drive. After she refuses roadside tests, she is charged and arrested, then brought to the WBPD where she blew 0.00, not the other way around. And by the way, 0.00 doesn't mean that she didn't have anything alcoholic to drink earlier or that she didn't smell like alcohol when the Trooper stopped her. It just means that she did not have a recordable level at the time of the breath test. Alcohol doesn't stay in a persons body forever, it dissipates over time...

Wrong, there has not been

Wrong, there has not been anything to disprove the headlight. Just the Tessners word that has been proven lies in other instances. The Troopers did not show disdain for anyone but the Tessners in a personel cell message. I do not know how all of that can be distorded into disdain for the public? I am sure there is disdain for people that drink and drive. If you had to go to an accident scene and see mangled bodies from an accident that a drunk driver caused you would too. Yes she blew a .00 after the arrest and was not impaired by alcohol, but the Trooper did not know that and she refused roadside test. That was her right. Once she made that decision she had to go along for the ride, like it or not. There is no evidence of any out of control Law Enforcement officer. It is an example of seeing a DWI as an incovinence or "I can just make it home" and not something that will and does take lives on our roadways EVERY HOUR. People submit to roadside tests every day and are on there way 5 minutes later. There are enough people out there breaking the law that there is no need to make up lies, or have you never driven through Wilmington??