ONLY ON 3: Leland cop hits driver, other officers ruin investigation

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Submitted: Thu, 10/06/2011 - 3:55am
Updated: Thu, 10/06/2011 - 2:21pm

EDITOR’S NOTE: As an isolated incident, we understand that this story does not rise to the level of a major news story. However, as we continue to investigate allegations of misconduct and corruption inside the Leland Police Department, we feel that it’s another example that paints a picture of significant problems within the department.

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — It doesn’t happen very often, but it can happen; a police officer is involved in an accident. It happened back in August to Lt. Rick Dellapia of the Leland Police Department.

According to an accident report by the Highway Patrol, Dellapia was on Village Road trying to take a left into the Citgo from the right hand lane, when he clipped another driver who was in the left hand lane turning left. The report says Dellapia was driving a brand new unmarked 2011 Chevy.

The driver, who wishes to keep her name out of the media, says Dellapia jumped out of his vehicle saying he was sorry, asking if she was okay, and saying he didn’t see her making the left.

She says about half a mile down sat an unmarked LPD Charger who saw the wreck. She says that officer came to the scene and while she was trying to call a friend to let them know about the fender-bender, started asking her questions like, “Don’t you think you were speeding?” She answered that if he was clocking her, he should tell her how fast she was going making the left hand turn. He replied that he didn’t have his radar gun out, but knew she was speeding.

Then she says while she was on the phone with a friend, one of the Leland officers got in her car without her permission and moved it into a parking lot.

The driver tells us so many officers showed up on the scene and crowded around her she felt very uncomfortable.

The Highway Patrol was eventually called in to write up the wreck, but the investigating trooper says in the report because the car was moved, because of conflicting statements and a lack of evidence, he was, “unable to determine the sequence or contributing circumstances for the collision.” The driver claims most cops know that moving a car after an accident can make it very difficult to figure out who’s at fault.

We’ve put in a call to the Leland Police Department for a comment. So far they have not returned our call.

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46 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Leland cop hits driver, other officers ruin investigation"

24 hopeless
2015 years 8 months ago

What about the 24 people before they started to complain? There complaints went washed away. where is there justice? How many complaints were not made during that period of 24 complaints because they saw the results? So many untold complaints.

2015 years 8 months ago

He claims to have been a sheriff for so many years and got out because of corruption but he’s full of crap. He has had numerous run ins with the law over the last 25 years which I guess makes him feel like he knows the law. That’s why he’s got such a hard-on to slam every cop he can and is paranoid enough to have video cameras all over his vehicle. Oh and ILM, I DO know who you….

2015 years 8 months ago

video tape them, as long as you are a reasonable distance it’s legal. Been done in other states and was completely legal as long as you are NOT interfering with their investigation of criminal activity.
I have a dash cam on my personal truck and a side camera pointing to the drivers door also, best protection in case of a difference of opnion. When someone is notified they are being taped it changes their perspective greatly. If you see something wrong tape it and then send it to WWAY, they will know what to do with it.

Sept 1, 2011 First Circuit Court Of Appeals rules it is legal to film Police and Public Officals

2015 years 8 months ago

This is a typical incident for the Leland PD. However, before you condemn the Leland PD, take a close look at their twins in the Wilmington PD. They are very similar in how they behave, respond to accidents, raft up at traffic stops, and the crass trashy way they treat the public. Although the Brunswick Sheriff’s Dept. and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Dept. are generally first class protectors of the public, the Wilmington PD is a larger menace than the Leland PD.

Star Anderson
2015 years 8 months ago

You are either in law enforcement…. the family member of law enforcement…. or really in denial…. You cannot assume that the person in this article hasn’t filed a report or complaint…. the did not name names in this article…. this was just another article talking about shady dealings with the local law enforcement…. after Sheriff Hewitt, you should not be surprised that there might be some bad blood in the legal department….. Oh!!!! I get it…. you must be the former sheriff sticking up for your friends!!!

All reports that I ever filed in Leland and Brunswick county was NEVER filed by the law enforcement officer taking the report… I always had to go to the magistrate and file my own reports to see anything get done. I lived in Leland for 5 years while my ex-husband harassed me.

I moved out of Leland and Brunswick County due to the incompetent dealings I had with both agencies…. neither was able to keep me safe from a ex-husband who daily broke into my house…. daily called and harassed me…. daily followed me and my friends….. I moved back to Wilmington to where the cops actually write reports and do their jobs!!!