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ONLY ON 3: Citizens accuse demoted Wrightsville Beach cop of misconduct

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Citizens accuse demoted Wrightsville Beach cop of misconduct

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- A day after details were released in the investigation of three Wrightsville Beach Police officers, citizens are coming forward with their own allegations of police misconduct.

From a traffic stop that ended in a Tasing, to claims of a botched investigation of an apparent sexual assault, residents say one officer should not be allowed on the streets.

"All three officers had strong performance records... up to this particular time," Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Bob Simpson said Tuesday when announcing the demotion of two officers and the resignation of another after an internal investigation.

Simpson's comments had some people scratching their heads. Among them, Arlo McLawhorn. He is one of four men seen in dash cam video that shows a Wrightsville Beach cop Tasing McLawhorn's friend. He says the officer firing the Taser is Shaun Appler, who the town demoted this week.

"He's basically getting Tased, and you can see he's Tasing him the whole time; just holding him telling him to come, you can see him motioning," McLawhorn said about the video.

McLawhorn says the incident happened in June 2009. He and his buddies had hailed a cab when they were pulled over. McLawhorn says Ofc. Robert Miller, who was also demoted this week, was in the process of giving the cab a citation for an illegal pick-up when his buddies got out to try and let one of their friends go to restroom. McLawhorn says that's when things went downhill.. He claims the officers in the video acted unprofessionally.

"Immediatly the officer comes up with his cuffs drawn and arrest my buddy," McLawhorn said "He never tells us why he's arrested."

About five minutes later the video shows McLawhorn's friend being Tased.

But McLawhorn is not the only person that has had a run in with one of the demoted officers. A man who we'll call "Rick" says his son was caught up in a he-said-she-said story in which he was accused of rape.

Rick says his son was beat unconscious by friends of the alleged victim, but when it was time for police to investigate what happened, Rick says Ofc. Appler made no attempted to be fair and investigate both sides.

"This young man did not need to be carrying a weapon and enforcing the laws, 'cause he doesn't know how to enforce the laws equally," Rick said. "He enforces the laws as he sees it. It's his court. What he said to me, and I quote, 'Your son deserves what he got.' He was almost beat to death, and my son had not even had his day in court yet. How would you feel if a police officer said that to you?"

We reached out to Simpson about his comments regarding Miller's and Appler's performance record. He said he made the comment based on what was in personnel records, including looking at reviews or any reprimands from five years back. As for the incidents in our story, he declined to comment.

We also tried calling Appler at work, but we could not reach him for comment.

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.


Still no

It still isn't any of his business why his fried is being arrested. It is his business why he is being arrested if indeed he is arrested. It doesn't say in the story here that he was arrested, only that his friend was arrested. When you jump in demanding to know why your buddy is arrested, chances are you will get arrested as well and charged with hinder/delay/obstruct because you are interfering with the officers job. Sit back, shut up and listen when dealing with police. You may be right in the end but you will lose in the moment.

Reply to "Still no"

The story also did NOT say that ANYONE "jumped in DEMANDING to know why his buddy was arrested". Mr. McLawhorn only stated (in a cut/edited video) that the officer never told them why he was being arrested. It appears that you don't mind defending your opinion(s)by stressing that certain facts were not there for you to consider (even after someone clearly provides you with those facts by posting the arrest information from the newspaper) while at the same time basing your opinion(s) on facts that were not there for you to consider. I have respect and appreciation for law enforcement and have always "shut up and listened" the few times I have had to deal with them, but, I ABSOLUTELY cannot say that if I saw someone I care about being hurt without having done anything to deserve it that I would not, at the least, be asking "why?" or begging the person doing harm, police officer or not, to stop. A taser is very painful and officers are not given tasers to use in the manner in which they were used here. I do have the benefit of having seen the entire video, yet I would still feel the same way after seeing just this clip. What happened was wrong and those gentlemen in that cab are some of the most respectful and kind individuals I know.

And again

From the story: "Immediatly the officer comes up with his cuffs drawn and arrest my buddy," McLawhorn said "He never tells us why he's arrested."

It isn't McLawhorn's business as to why his buddy is being arrested. They should have sat down and shut up. On the side of the road isn't the time or place to argue with an officer. Do as instructed and you get to go home. Interfere, you may get to go to jail. They got to go to jail.

And again, and again

Thank you for further showing that you create facts that don't exist to bolster your argument. AGAIN, nowhere in there does it state that there was any "jumping in" or "demanding" anything. You are simply using that statement, which you so kindly wasted your time copying/pasting or retyping, to imply that that is what happened because that set of facts works best for you and you have every right to do so. The problem with that, you see, is the next individual such as yourself to read your version of events will stretch it even further, and so on and so forth, until the story is nowhere near the truth. Thank God for dashboard video cameras. Honestly, none of that really even matters. Mr. McLawhorn's obvious issue was with the inappropriate use of that taser, not that he himself was arrested and went to jail. That was obviously my biggest issue as well but judging by your response you didn't quite catch that. Officers don't get demoted without good reason. As they shouldn't.

There is little worse than a

There is little worse than a bad cop...but some of the guys in blue aren't half bad. Sometimes a decent person uses poor judgement. What vexes me is that neither the cops involved nor the Manager has the chutzpah to publicly go on record admitting they were wrong and/or stupid in their lack of professional conduct. When government lacks accountability, it isn't worth having.

And yet you can't change this fact

You buddy McLawhorn states: "He never tells us why he is arrested." My statement is simply this; It isn't any of McLawhorn's business why his friend is being arrested.

And I guess they (the ones

And I guess they (the ones arrested) were right in the end...charges dropped and a big ol' I'm Sorry from the town.


That is such a cute user name you came up with. Did an adult help you or did you do it all by yourself? Even with the charges being dropped, it will now show on each of their records a charge of hinder/delay.

If you say I'm a sheeple because I have enough sense not to argue with the police, then a sheeple I am.


Who's on first

wrightsville beach police

It's about time!

Years overdue

Yes years overdue. They have tasers now however when I was in college Wrightsville Beach cops would just come right in to college parties with their billy clubs in hand swinging and hitting. Shouting that the party has too many noise violation calls and then arresting everyone who resisted being hit.

Tazer Trainer

And guess who trained Appler in his spectacular use of the tazer. None other than Sgt.(former) Miller, the department's tazer instructor. Wonder if the come-hither-taunting while the tazee is sprawled on the ground convulsing tactic displayed in the vid was part of the course training?

Appler & Miller: Reputations Precede Them

"Rick" is correct about Appler holding his own court when he is on patrol. Many cases have been thrown out of court that Appler has brought to the District Attorney and presiding judge throughout his career. In fact, he was removed from his position as a detective and placed back on patrol prior to this incident going public. Miller has been known to be quite the hot head among locals, and has been reprimanded publicly by the department in the past.

Someone also needs to let

Someone also needs to let Miller know he is not allowed to go into a private club. He does not have ABC authority. Can only go if asked in or answering a call for service. Checking out the babes at Red Dogs. What a loser!!!!

Guess Appler watched too much Blue Bloods

sounds like he thinks he can act like Danny Regan character on TV who is a detective or maybe he got his idea on how to conduct himself from Law and Order SVU/CI or maybe just maybe he was tutored by some of the Leland PD officers who inexplicably still have jobs despite committing obstruction of justice (moving vehicles prior to arrival of SHP among other things) cause he sounds like he and Blasingame would get along well.


it's all coming home to roost. There are more stories like this out there. Glad this guy has the guts to come forward!

In a nutshell, here's what

In a nutshell, here's what is wrong with government in these parts. City or Town Managers have too much power. They should be advisors, not decision makers. This applies to the county as well.

Had there been a good manager in Brunswick county, he or she could have advised Comm. Warren on how to conduct a meeting!