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WWAY news director arrested during MLK parade


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington Police arrested WWAY News Director Scott Pickey for traffic offenses during the MLK Day Parade in downtown Wilmington.

During the parade, which started at noon on Front Street, police would not allow WWAY employees to leave the station's parking lot to get to news coverage. After a reporter was forced to wait for an extended time and told he'd have to wait for the entire parade, which ended after 2 p.m., Pickey asked officers again to allow the reporter to leave during one of the frequent breaks in the parade. Officers refused to allow this or contact a supervisor for permission.

When Pickey got in the car and drove out of the parking lot during another break in the parade, police arrested him.

He's been charged with failure to obey a traffic officer and careless and reckless operation. Pickey was released from jail under $1,000 unsecured bond. He is due in court February 28.

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.


ND arrested

I love this story because it shows just how stupid the Police can be. He was just trying to get the story, and the Police overacted. I think Pickey getting arrested was outrageous. The Police should have been observing Public safety! What is going on down there in Wilmington?


Scott has made A LOT of enemies both professionally and personally over the years with his smashmouth, abrasive, handfisted style of management/executive producing.

He has made countless numbers of employees miserable over the years and although I may not necessarily agree with his arrest, I can assure all of you that this incident makes a lot of people happy and it is long time overdue that karma has finally come around.

I would like to tip my hat to Wilmington PD for making his life a little tougher this week, because if you add up all of the times he has either made an employee cry or lose their s*it, made their life so miserable that they quit their job, or simply been the source of a massive amount of despair for his staff/co-workers, his predicament this week doesn't come anywhere close to it.

Scott seems to have a lot of

Scott seems to have a lot of people on here that think he was right in what he did but if Brian Berger had done exactly the same thing most of these posters would have had negative things to say about him!! At least the reporters at WWAY were smart enough to follow the rules. Scott was wrong and he knows it.

A lot of Anger is evident in these posts...

...and seems that people with the propensity to display such anger about someone they don't even know (Scott) should find a better avenue for release of their emotions! Go to the gym, run 5 miles, do some pushups, go pound a wrecked car with a baseball bat, but do something before you pop a vessel or go off on your little kids. The display of hatred as I read here is no less than disturbing!

A truce should be struck here. There are two parties equally at fault. WWAY's news team should've planned better for the event. Perhaps they were fully unaware that roadway access from their parking lot would be impeded. On the flip side, the police should've been a little more accomodating and drop their usual hard-nose, gustapo tactics. This simply did not have to be a zero-compromise conflict to arise over this unfortunate set of circumstances.

You kids need to learn to play nice now!

At least Pickey takes the

At least Pickey takes the spotlight off of Michelle Obama rolling her eyes at the lunch table the other day.
WPD sure is "Pickey"!!

Omg, how I wanted Scott

Omg, how I wanted Scott Pickey to be arrested, and how I wanted it to be justified. But this isn't justified! Scott was in the right, and the police were acting like petty tyrants! Go, Scott! *Uch, I can't believe I said that*

Scott got what he

Scott got what he deserved....I heard him on the radio this morning saying he is going to talk with chief Evangelous about what happened. Yeah,now he's trying to get out of it, if he feels he was right in what he did why go talk to the chief???

So Scott is going to talk to the Chief is he???

Probably might want to include the City Attorney while he is at it....just to be sure! Mr. Pickey made a very serious miscalculation, disobeyed an officer of the law and in so doing endangered city residents.....because he wanted to. Now he thinks he can just have a chat with the chief and all will be OK. Seriously?

If you or I or anybody else was guilty of the same poor judgement, can we sit down and have a chat with the chief and all is OK? I think not....the chief and city attorney need to think very long and hard about the message this would send to the public and the management at WWAY needs to think very seriously about the damage this guy has done to the credibility of the organization. The guy is a major liability.....

Chief Evangelous will get a

Chief Evangelous will get a free 30 second WWAY video message promoting Ovaltine. It's delicious and good for you.

Classic journalistic

Classic journalistic arrogance from this guy showing all that he, his station and their story is above the law and at his discretion entitled to put others in danger. Hopefully WWAY will do the right thing and show the city and its citizens that they are not above the law and that his actions were inexcusable and not to be tolerated. There must be other stations in other markets that have a greater appreciation of his "National Enquirer" type news coverage.

Same ol'

Just another arrogant journalist inserting themselves into the story. And like David Gregory illegally waving a 30 round clip on TV, no case will be brought to court. The media, the courts and most politicians all covering for each other embrace the same ideology....The first commandment of that clique being 'Thou shalt not have any gods before me'.

Common sense would dictate the alleged lawless news director could have dispatched a camera crew with equipment on foot. Obviously, they were right on the parade route so it would be a short walk to get the story. Was taking the van really necessary? But the real question here is; why did this news director denier choose to contribute to global warming rather than choose to promote the well-being of his fellow citizens?

Wait, what????

1. WWAY is a news organization.
2. WWAY is on the parade route.
3. WWAY says they didn't know when/where the parade was going to be?

Kind of have to wonder about that. It's called planning ahead.

Did anyone watch the video?

I was on the fence about this matter after reading the story.
Obviously this man, Pickey, should have taken the necessary measures to prepare for the parade as it was reasonable for him to know he would be affected.

Then I watched the video.

When I saw the video of the what I assume is Pickey in a white van leaving the WWAY lot at the time of the incident, there doesn't seem to be ANY parade activity in the street at all. It looks like any other day on Front Street.

Is Pickey running around to the terror of the public? Every cop on the block was running after him (or at least trying) and then they have him lay on the ground with his face in the grass to handcuff him? This is unreasonable.

I hope this gets tossed out in court by a judge that laughs and moves onto something more important. There are more important issues in our community that we need to address.


Like these little hooligans who were running around on Front Street after the parade. In the span of 5 minutes, I saw a group of teenagers leaving the parade throw an armful of their garbage on the sidewalk, another person tearing branches off of shrubbery that TAXPAYERS pay for, and another group of young men throwing up their pathetic gang signs at cars passing by.


Dr. King would be proud to see how far the black race has advanced.

Blogger Comment Poll

Im sure WWAY wont be doing this so I felt I would do one to keep with the spirit of good journalism at WWAY

Do you think Scott Pickey was right in leaving the WWAY parking lot against WPD orders?

A: Sure, his reporter could have possibly been having a heart attack or an emergency situation (sarcasm)

B: No, he is not above the law and WWAY received the press release as did all news media about start time

C: Dont know/Dont care

You people are a joke

Wow... So people think this is a pwer trip? You want to file a complaint? Well, I will inform you that this article fails to mention the whole situation (go figure, the media reports what they want you to hear) The businesses were notified of the parade and road closings! They have parades downtown several times a year and have for as long as I can remember. The police are always there doing THEIR job by blocking off the streets so people can not drive thru the parade. This is a safety issue not a power trip. They are told- block the streets so no one can go thru, you think because he is "media" he gets special treatment?? Leave earlier knowing the streets were blocked off, when an officer is blocking you from driving down the street DO NOT inch towards them pushing them out of your way, dont cuss and disrespect someone from doing their job when you were late to do your own. He should have been arrested for endangement, he should have been arrested for many more things considering his actions after being forced to follow the rules. They apply to everyone. He is not special!!

Did he use his vehicle to move the officer out of the way????

"when an officer is blocking you from driving down the street DO NOT inch towards them pushing them out of your way"

That is outrageous and completely uncalled for behavior by anybody and anytime. If this is found to be true, he deserves jail time and immediate termination. WWAY has duty to Wilmington to make sure this type of arrogant nonsense is not tolerated from its employees....there have to be serious consequences for such actions.

Other parades are on weekends

This was a completely different situation than a parade that is on the weekend when the most people don't have to go to and from work. Choosing to move this parade to Front Street on a weekday and forcing everyone who lives or works along that route to be locked in their parking lot for 2-3 hours was flat-out stupidity. Yes it was MLK Day, but unless you are a government employee you most likely had to work yesterday.

Plain and simple, people have the RIGHT to do their jobs, In the case of WWAY, that means leaving at a moments notice to cover a breaking story. There's no reason WPD could not have let him cross the street when it was clearly safe. The streets are closed during parades to prevent needless traffic on the roads, not to bring a business to a screeching halt when a reasonable accommodation can be made for them. As a taxpaying citizen, Scott has every right to use a public street...especially when he has a job to do. Maybe these "public servants" aka WPD officers should be charged with unduly hindering a lawfully operating business and interfering with Scott's right to make a living doing an honest job. Before you start laughing, these charges would be no less outlandish than the baloney they charged Scott with.


Like most smart business owners who needed their employees to leave unhindered, I had them park two or our work trucks across 3rd St. Its apparent that you were not there. There were little kids stepping into the street to see what was coming next. They were not looking the other direction to see if a car was coming. They are children and make mistakes. He was an adult who didn't care enough to plan ahead. As far was what the media showed, you are an odd one to believe anything the media puts out.

Only on weekends?

Guess you've never been downtown for the 4th of July. Good thing - sounds like you'd be driving right through the parade.

big difference between the 2

There's a big difference between MLK Day and July 4th. Aside from government offices and schools, many businesses are open on MLK Day. On the other hand, restaurants and some shops are the only things open on Independence day. Besides, I don't recall Wilmington having a Fourth of July Parade...that's in Southport my friend. Wilmington has a street fair and the Battleship Blast, which happens on water Street. Practically nothing is blocked down there, guests still have access to the Hilton, the second level of the Water Street Deck can be accessed from Front street, and no business or residential parking lots or driveways are blocked. That's why it's held on Water Street in the first place...minimal impact on businesses and residents. Having the parade on Front Street on a day when many people ARE working creates a substantial difficulty for businesses. No business should be expected or required to stay confined to their parking lot for 2-3 hours on a workday.


Guess you're right. Parades on Federal holidays should excuse people from having to obey police officers. My mistake. Carry on.

I know Scott and his staff.

I know Scott and his staff. They are responsible and law abiding citizens. No doubt he and many others could have been permitted to cut through when appropriate. The Police have a hard job to do as they are poorly trained, turn over in the ranks is rampant, leadership is lacking, direction is not provided and in essence they are assigned to mundane tasks by the City and their own leadershp, so they have become revenue agents with guns. This is a sad City...

Oh yes, they are indeed responsible and law-abiding....

...citizens working at WWAY. The news anchor from WWAY that got stopped last year for driving careless and reckless on MLK was being the complete definition of law-abiding. Wonder why you never heard about that? Ask WWAY. Ask WWAY why they not only failed to report that, but also failed to divulge the outcome. I'll give you a hint: What happened and the outcome of it would NOT make you feel very comfortable driving around town if you knew that particular news anchor/idiot was driving on the roads at the same time you are. And we can't have WWAY looking anything less than perfect in every way, now can we.

PLEASE. Gimme a break. WWAY gave up reporting news YEARS ago. Scott Pickey has only deepened and furthered that cause with his insistence on yellow "journalism" at all turns. There's a simple litmus test to prove this. Contact WWAY and ask them who they call and how often they call when they want to be briefed on news happening in the city of Wilmington and in New Hanover County and the beaches. I guarantee you that if they do answer you - TRUTHFULLY - you will be STUNNED to learn just how out of touch WWAY is when it comes to being a REAL media outlet and reporting actual NEWS. Contact the agencies that WWAY should be requesting information from if they were actually interested in printing REAL news about what's happening here locally. Public record means you can ask how often someone calls a public service agency requesting assistance, including a phone call requesting information.

I'll be absolutely STUNNED if this comment winds up actually getting posted to WWAY's site, but I'm sure if it does, it will only be done to placate misguided folks like yourself as WWAY tries to cover its dirty little tracks and PRETENDS to be a real, honest-to-god media outlet til the heat from this blows over.

Regarding your other statements about law enforcement could not be wrong on every single claim you tried to make. They are NOT poorly trained. They go through lengthy and extensive BLET training just to become officers. Once hired by a department, they then have to undergo further hands-on on-the-job training in patrol with a senior officer until such time that the senior officer believes they are ready to patrol the streets on their own. Turnover is NOT rampant. The ranks are thin because this is a difficult economy, and local governments are forced to make difficult calls when deciding whether money should be spent on something like putting another officer on the street, or giving more money to local schools to help our teachers help our students. The majority of local law enforcement agencies have officers and deputies who have been on the job for at LEAST 5 years. I have no idea how you reached the conclusion that leadership is lacking but that's quite possibly one of the most ludicrous things I've read in a while. EVERY law enforcement agency in New Hanover County has AT LEAST one sergeant in charge of patrol units that are out on the street. WPD also has at least two corporals working with each shift as well. NHSO has one sergeant and one corporal out patrolling the streets at all times, in addition to at least five to six deputies patrolling the north end and the south end of the county. Both WPD and NHSO always have at least one lieutenant patrolling each shift as Watch Commander as well. Oh yes, I can back up my statements. Can you?

Yes, there are mundane tasks that officers have to do. It isn't by choice. The officers don't choose it, and neither do any of the leaders from each department. But when Mrs. Noseyfool calls for an officer at 2 in the morning to complain about her neighbor's dog barking, an officer has to go and check it. Funny thing...when citizens call and demand officers respond to truly stupid crap like barking dogs while hiding behind the supremely arrogant statement "I PAY YOUR SALARY!", officers have to go. The public alone is to blame for officers having to respond to moronic crap like barking dogs, loud fireworks, etc. Parents call and demand officers come to their homes to tell their 11-year-old kid to stop arguing with Mummy and Daddy just so that Mummy and Daddy don't have to be parents/"the bad guy". They HAVE to respond to idiot crap like this because people like YOU believe you're "entitled". Cops are NOT your servants. Neighbor's dog bothering you? Grow and pair and go tell the neighbor yourself. Loud fireworks? It's the Fourth of July...get over yourself. Kids acting up in your home while you just wanna drink your 2nd bottle and watch Family Guy? Do it yourself. You laid down and made those go be a parent now.

Revenue agents with guns? Seriously? There's a real simple answer to this. END ALL CRIME EVERYWHERE, Genius, and cops won't be needed anymore. Til you do that, SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP because you clearly have NO idea what you're talking about. They're simply doing the job that mouthbreathers like you everywhere demand with your idiotic behavior. It's easy to make ridiculous claims such as yours when you've never had to do a cop's job. Since you're clearly neither mentally nor physically strong enough to do an officer's job, sign up for a ridealong. Both WPD and NHSO offer them. Make sure you schedule it for a Friday or a Saturday when the weather is above 40 degrees, and preferably when you can be with an officer in the city around 2 a.m. (bar close). If you don't walk away from that experience with a long-overdue respect for cops, you're more of an idiot than even I suspected.

And if all of this still means that Wilmington is, in your stupid opinion, a sad city, by all means...LEAVE. GET OUT. MOVE AWAY. Go find the Utopia you think exists. Write back when you've grown up a little, junior.

"Responsible and law abiding citizens"

"Responsible and law abiding citizens" do not defy direct orders from public officials to do whatever they want. Would it have killed him to simply WAIT as instructed? Yes it might have delayed his ability to rush off to the next Brian Berger sighting, but not nearly as much as his unplanned stint in jail.

Well while law abiding

Well while law abiding citizens they may be when an officer stands in from of your vehicle telling you to stop you dont inch forward and bump them.... All businesses are notified in advance as to the closing times. He wants to do parade coverage he should have left earlier KNOWING the streets were closed, then when a police car is blocking the road for traffic becuz of a parade in the street you dont fly around it cussing at the cops and drive across the street during a "break" Nice and friendly as he may be his actions were wrong.

civil disobedience

How appropriate to have an act of civl disobedience on Dr. King's day. Good for you Scott for defending your first amendment rights!

How is this "civil disobedience"?

This is not "civil disobedience" because there was no higher moral point being made; it was just somebody doing what he felt like doing. Sometimes the cop has other considerations and there isn't time to have a debate; sometimes you just have to do what you're told. Cops are people and they aren't perfect, but they get it right a huge percent of the time. In this case, the cop had to consider that there was a crowd of people who believed that the road was closed so they wouldn't be looking out for cars.

Work is a higher moral point

Sorry buddy, but a citizen needing to carry out the duties of his occupation is more than reason enough for him to stand up to these bullies. The WPD could have easily made an accommodation for him and directed him out of the parking lot when safe, but instead they chose to be clowns and refused to provide service to a tax-paying citizen.

Scott standing up for his rights makes me proud, having officers on the WPD who refuse to use their heads and instead blindly follow orders like a robot scares me...ALOT.