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


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.

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.


Call to Leland PD

WWAY, you put in a call to the Leland PD for comment and have yet to hear back from them? Did you really expect a response? It appears they are having communicaion problems over there. Maybe you should try Smoke Signals.

This is another great

This is another great example of Lelands finest... SBI needs to fix this issue before more innocent citizens are hurt or wrongfully accused. Obstruction of an ivestigation and turning on your own officer due to gender. Sherry Lewis was a fine example of a police officer, but she was humiliated and she must live with that for the rest of her life. Leland PD... YOU ARE NOT WORTHY OF WEARING THE BADGE. And God forbid carry a firearm. May your deeds come back to you all tenfold. I pray that there are a few officers left on your department that still have ethics... mabe you should have payed attention to that chapter in BLET.

Why am I not surprised

LPD officers intimidating an innocent civilian sounds about normal for this town. Hmm I might add the officer who moved the car was technically guilty of obstruction of justice because as it was an accident involving town property the State PD would and were required to investigate for insurance purposes. I already feel bad for the innocent civilian in this because now likely her own insurance rates will go up because the town wont pay out due to the NCHP being unable to determine fault. I swear I joked about this being something bordering on the movie Supertroopers but Im afraid Leland PD is starting to seriously look like the fictional town of Spurberry the longer this goes on and on. Yep I even think there is a remarkable similarity between Chief Jayne and the town PD chief in the movie.


If thts the case then that trooper needs to go through remedial training on doing his job, that is all they have to do is investigate motor vehicle violations and its the LAW if the vehicles can be moved then you have to move them, if you dont you can recieve a ticket also.

Law on moving vehicles

Actually that law only applies to limited access Highways not primary roads. Additionally there are exceptions to that rule as well depending. The reality is this was obviously an attempt by LPD to cover up the moving violation by the officer indeed. What bothers me is had the officer who hit her done the right thing he would have told the trooper the truth which obviously he DID NOT otherwise NCHP wouldnt have ended up with a "indeterminate cause"

I am quite sure the Leland

I am quite sure the Leland cop moved the vehicle, knowing that he was protecting his buddy.

My Leland Police experience.

Here's my story about Leland's finest. About 6 months ago, there was a call in our neighborhood about a couple of dogs loose. One was a puppy who lived next door to me, and another was an older dog several doors down. I got a knock on the door asking if the puppy was mine, I said no, and showed them where it lived...

As I walk out my front door, the older dog was In Its Yard, barking. It was not in an attack mode, in fact it continually backed up. An officer walked directly towards this dog WITH HIS GUN DRAWN.

5 Cops. No Animal Control!! I ask, what are they doing to that dog??? As the officer continues to approach the dog with his gun drawn, I asked "Please don't shoot that dog!" and ran in between the officer and the dog. At this point the dog is on its front porch, backed up against his front door.

The officer takes a can of MACE, and COVERS the dog, in such a large spray it was as if it was a fire hose. The dogs yelps in obvious pain over and over and over, and runs into a bush next to the porch.

Another officer approaches, BOTH NOW HAVE THEIR GUNS DRAWN. I asked them what they planned to do with the dogs without animal control there. They just stared at me. One officer says 'if that &*$&^* dog comes near me, im killing it'. After several minutes of myself and another neighbor pleading with Leland Police to leave this dog alone, they finally leave.

My street isn't but a mile long. Before they were out of sight, these officers were doing AT LEAST 60 mph, in a residential neighborhood.

Class Acts. All the way.

Would this have been

the same driver involved in the infamous incident on her way to Wrightsville Beach which prompted her husband, the attorney, to respond so forcefully?

Oh. Why am I not surprised!!!!

Ok SurfCityTom, you are obviously the biggest cop whore in NC. Why would you assume it was that lady who was also done wrong by (LEO'S) as you call them. The police in this town and quite a few other towns are nothing but hired guns that run corrupt and do exactly as they please. Why in the world would he get into her car and move it without asking her first. If he needed it moved he could have asked her to do it. I am glad they are doing investigations and they need to keep going until they get to the top and get rid of all the garbage we have riding around with badges on. I don't care what any of you say, these cops think they are gods among men and I don't trust them any further than I can throw them, which isn't very far all. Have a great day and keep the investigations going for the good of all.!!!!!!!


AMEN! You nailed it! Although some are straight, many are reckless rednecks with loose guns, blue lights, and arrogant attitudes, who run unchecked and roughshod over innocent people. They often lie, add untrue statements to reports, and testify with crossed fingers.


you obviously have never read any of my posts. You obiously did not even read the second post I made.

I may have many faults, being a cop whore is not one. Oh, and I have never used the term LEO. I'm not even certain what one of those is.

And if anyone has followed my posts, I have strongly suggested they force the DA to take action or get the AG involved.

Another weasel pops its head out of the ground; thinks it has SurfCityTom in its sights; and fails.

You can go back underground now.

I know, I know, you have to

I know, I know, you have to resort to some form of degradation when you've been had but it's what I expect from some of your previous posts. All I'm saying is that this case is totally separate from the case that you referred to and it shows your obvious bias between the citizens and (police officers). Have a great day SurfCityTom...

Meaning of LEO

Tom. - LEO stands for Law Enforcement Officer.

No sir - she lives in

No sir - she lives in ILM.


Scott Pickey
WWAY News Director


If you look on the town of Leland's Police Blotter, you will see another instance where an officer was involved in an "accident" white transporting someone to Bolivia. I don't recall the exact date but remember seeing it listed among the other crimes the Leland Police Department investigates on a daily basis. It seems they investigate everyone but themselves, even for the most trivial of crimes.

Hey Scott

I was pretty confident on the answer you would have. I was trying to help you on what appears to be a slow news day.

On another note, have you booked passage for Kevin on the Governor's Asian Business Development Tour? Seats are filling fast. Give him a hand held recorder and small video camera and turn him loose.

That would be live and interactive; but not local