FIRST ON 3: Investigators say Pender Co. deputy was drunk before wrecking car


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Submitted: Tue, 03/19/2013 - 7:31pm
Updated: Wed, 03/20/2013 - 7:48pm
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ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Pender County Sheriff’s deputy is out of a job after being charged with DWI after a car crash in Onslow County this morning.

The Sheriff’s Office says dispatch began receiving calls that a Pender County patrol car was driving unsafely on US 17.

William Paluck was in uniform when his patrol car rear ended another car, investigators said.

Onslow County Dispatch said the fender bender happened at 7:48 a.m. at the intersection of Old Maple Hurst Road and US 17.

The Pender County Sheriff’s Office said before the crash, Paluck had stopped by his duty station at Topsail Middle School, where he was the school resource officer.

A worker at a gas station at the crash scene says the deputy was swerving all over the road.

Capt. J.T. Hock with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office says Paluck was notified that he no longer has a job as a result of what happened.

Paluck is due in Onslow County Court Sept. 18.

45 Comments

  • Bill OBrien says:

    I post on here using my real name because I will never say anything that I wouoldn’t say to a person’s face. I worked with Billy too and I wish nothing but the best for him and his family. He has some tough times ahead, no doubt. This is more than just a minor mistake though. He was driving erratically enough that he had been called in by several drivers so I am making the assumption that he was more than just a little intoxicated. He made the decision to start drinking before going to work. He then made the decision to operate a sheriff’s vehicle while impaired and tried to get to the school where he was supposed to be guarding the kids and keeping that environment safe. What “other side to the story” is there? I have never known him to do anything like this while on duty but, I haven’t been around him in about a year. A lot can happen to a person in that amount of time. I hope he gets the help he needs and fixes his life. Thank God nobody was done anymore harm than just some hurt feelings. This could have been a much worse situation. I think one of the things that I really take offense to is the fact that the magistrate gave him a court date six months out. I have arrested hardcore felons who had court dates assigned 30 days out from the date of their arrest. That is the standard! This smacks of preferential treatment! Give him a court date 6 months out in the hope that the trooper transfers or doesn’t show. Heck, by that time the news will have forgotten about it and nobody will care if it just gets dismissed. That does nothing but destroy the credibility of the justice system which is sure taking a lot of hits lately! You are right though…there are two sides to every story…both of these don’t smell too good though.

  • Wondering says:

    Has anyone else given thought that alcohol had no involvement in this situation?

    How about the thought that, maybe, just maybe, he has previously been “offered treatment” for the use of “some intoxicating substance”?

  • Wowow says:

    Upstanding person, dad, etc.?? Apparently you do not know that much about him outside the “uniform.” Sad for his kids..

  • DP101 says:

    I knew Billy at Burgaw PD and never knew of him drinking before or during work, I’m thinking is this a mistake. He has always been an upstanding officer, Dad, person, friend! Well I certainly don’t know all the details…there are two sides to a story, so I won’t be making any assumptions until I get both sides. Good luck to Billy and his family!

  • MParker says:

    Having been nearly killed on two occasions by a drunk driver, I am furious that William Paluk, a deputy who is supposed to uphold the law, made the decision to drive while impaired.

    And to top if all off, he was on the highway this morning before 8 A.M. God help us!

    I sincerely hope that he receives maximum punishment for his incredibly stupid and reckless behavior. And to think there are people on this site who are trying to excuse his foolish judgment.

    It’s a miricle he was not driving faster when he rear-ended the other car; somebody could have been killed or seriously injured.

    Time for tougher alcohol control laws. Alcohol–our most dangerous recreational drug!

  • Guest111111 says:

    Why aren’t they offering treatment before simply firing him? He presents a large investment in training by the County. Seems like they would benefit from showing the public that officers are human beings under a great deal of work related stress along with very low pay in addition to the stressors we all have, but can work to become sober, become better officers and citizens.

  • Bill OBrien says:

    I worked with Billy and I know he is a decent person. I was stunned when I heard that his had happened. I don’t know what is going on in his life right now that would drive him to make a choice like this but, he did. Luckily, nobody was hurt seriously. Careers can be rebuilt (or build new ones!). I hope that Billy gets the help he needs in the immediate future.

    The court date, sorry Billy, is a bit ridiculous and is one of the biggest problems with charging DUI’s. I could understand providing him with 1-2 months to prepare for court but SIX MONTHS? That means that in 6 months he will have his first appearance and a new court date assigned…likely another 1-2 months down the road. That court date almost always gets continued for another 1-2 months. That means that it could possibly be an entire year before Billy has his day in court. That helps absolutely nothing.

    It gives the appearance that this case is already being buried away because he is law enforcement. He was also a bailiff for quite some time so I can only imagine the preferntial treatment he will receive from the VERY liberal ADA in the Pender court.

    I have no way of knowing whether this is the case or not but, if the scenario I discussed above plays out then, this case will NOT be heard before the next elections…coincedence? Maybe, I don’t believe in it but I guess it is possible. One thing is for certain, things do need changing.

    First we had Mark Sloan picking up a transexual hooker in Wilmington (something he still claims was a setup!). We have had several other alcohol involved cases, extramarrital affairs, car wrecks, animal control being investigated now. I know that all these guys are “good Christians” but, we have to stop letting that be the scapegoat for bad behavior. It is time to put the big boy pants on and treat the “good ol’ boys” the same as some of us outsiders.

    I hope that Billy gets the help he needs. He IS a great dad for his kids and this is going to cause a lot of pain in the immediate future. Truly good people can turn stuff like this into something positive. I hope that Billy has that in him

  • DP101 says:

    Like I said, there are two sides to a story……..and I won’t be make any assumptions, are you???

  • Bill OBrien says:

    He was working as an SRO and has been for a long time. That is hardly dealing with “the scum of the earth”. When he wasn’t in the school, Billy was usually doing prisoner transport or bailiff duties. What I would like to see is some people holding the Sheriff and his command staff responsible for some of these things.

  • Freind says:

    Paluck is very much a wonderful man. He is only human, so with that being said we all make mistakes. No matter what it maybe. He is a family man and loves children. Also he’s a man of God, so lets all pull together and pray for my friend and his family. God changes things.

  • Get Real says:

    Really…. I realize that they are human and can make mistakes. This was not a MISTAKE! He chose this behavior and if he had hit one of you on the road you would want the same treatment given to him as a common criminal. He might be “good christian man” and we need to forgive his sin, but not condone the actions. He needs to be justly punished and answer for his crime in a court of law. (By the way, it is in Onslow County, not Pender County.)

    He might be a good guy and is going to be hit hard by the DECISION HE MADE!!!!! How would he feel if his child, mother, father, brother sister, grandmother, grandfather were either injured or killed by a drunken driver. I think the publicity is probably the worse punishment for him. He will probably not drive for 30 days and have to go through a alcohol assessment with one of the companies in Wilmington. This will all cost him initally $100.00 but the big slam dunk is the attorney costs and insurance costs. I hope that they put an interlock system on his car. Maybe all Pender County Deputies need to have an interlock system on their car before they can start!

    Grow up Billy Paluck!!!!! Set an example for your children, because you certainly haven’t with this behavior!

  • Das Weibstück says:

    Just imagine the lawsuit if this goon had hurt or killed someone in a county owned Police car, drunk. Thats why there is no 2nd chance.

  • godmybehind says:

    Man of god my behind…..What man of god is drunk at 8 a.m., loves children but gets in a car and puts lives in danger………. uh huh. This was no mistake, it was intentional. I dont give a ratsazz if he was the pope. God doesn’t change things, humans change things.

  • Vog46 says:

    Some state require a 3 year re certification training class for breathalyzer use. I don’t know what NC’s law states but the fact that Pender county sheriffs were gong to Onslow to train tells me that Onslow serves as a training center for some LEO training.
    If that is the case the classes are probably ongoing so that other counties can schedule appropriately sending a few at a time as to not disrupt manpower requirements.

    But this brings me back to another subject. If he tied one on the night prior and was under the legal limit he broke no law and should have continued with the class.
    Do we regulate their days off? Are we over reaching on this? Are we expecting purity when one becomes an LEO?
    This is embarrassing as all get out for Pender County – no doubt – but he was not drunk.
    (We may never know if he had one “the morning of” which to me indicates a potential problem.)
    We will have to agree to disagree on this one I guess.

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    Derelict means drunk
    In february the guy blew 1/4 the amount needed to qualify for “drunk”.
    I still suspect he had some the night prior not the day of the class so making him pay for the class was unusaully harsh IMHO….

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    derelict in their duties does not necessarily mean they were drunk.

    They could lok the other way when a crime is being committed.

    They could discharge their weapon in a neighborhood without cause.

    Just a couple of examples

  • Vog46 says:

    To use.

    Still my point about the previous problems stands.
    The guy in the training class blew a 0.02
    I asked the question about how long alcohol stays in your system and no one answered.
    I suspect that guy tied one on the night prior (hopefully at home) If he did that legally then the 0.02 should not have impacted anything.

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    I understand what you are saying. My point is he knew he was to attend class; he knew they did random testing in class to show proceedure; and yet he drank alcohol the night prior.

    Very Poor decision.

    He should be required to pay the fee to attend another session. And as he was psid to attend the first session, he should not draw pay on the make up day.

    My opinion.

  • Vog46 says:

    didn’t we just have an incident involving a Pender county sheriff at a training class in Onlsow County? He did a breathalyzer and they detected alcohol in him?
    Now we have a DWI?
    (Is this the same guy?)

    Good grief

    Vog

  • guesty says:

    No, this is a different deputy. The other guy is Nick Carter and he was only suspended.

  • Citizen of the Republic says:

    Booze it and lose it.

    I guess it’s true.

  • Palucksupport says:

    He made a mistake.. He was fired. His life ruined so leave it along! There are quite a few deputies at Pender that have been arrested and given a second chance. He has a family to support .. He is a good guy just some problems.. Like all of us

  • deputy 25 says:

    MISTAKE??? how in the h e double hockey sticks do you make a mistake by getting behind the wheel, drunk??? it was intentional that he drove drunk. he could have killed himself and INNOCENT people!! everyone has problems, but everyone doesnt get behind a wheel of a car and drive drunk or try and drink them away!. i have been a deputy for 28 years and never ever thought about drinking and driving , even when i was having problems at home or whatever. quit being a victim and do what is right. this deputy had the right NOT TO BREAK THE LAW!!. i do not pity him, or have any remorse for him because he knew better and has known better and he CHOSE to drive drunk. that is not a mistake!!!!

  • guesty says:

    He didn’t make a mistake, he made a decision to drive drunk. A mistake is not paying attention at the gas pump and putting diesel in your car. A choice is drinking and then getting in a car and driving.

    Don’t make excuses for criminal behavior.

  • OtherGuest says:

    Well, then I guess the procedure at a license checkpoint should be to admonish suspected DWI’s for making a mistake and send them on their way?

    Do I detect a double standard?

  • Das Weibstück says:

    Choosing to drink then get in your car and drive is a choice. Choosing to drink then get in your car and put innocent peoples lives at risk cause you are an uncaring, inconsiderate asshole is also a choice. McDonalds is hiring.

  • Loriaga says:

    Is that a typo – September 18th Court Date?

  • wow, september court date huh? That ought to give him long enough to get a good attorney and a new job.

  • Vog46 says:

    Today a DWI against sheriff Paluck

    Before this was:
    Sheriff Burke Bailey totals his car

    http://www.wwaytv3.com/2013/02/17/pender-co-deputy-totals-patrol-vehicle

    And before that was:

    Nick Carter tested positive for alcohol at an Onslow training class:

    http://www.wwaytv3.com/2013/02/11/pender-deputy-suspended-for-drinking-before-alcohol-test-training

    Just what is going on in Pender?

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    they’re losing their positions if it is found they were derelict or negligent in their job performance.

    Of course in February when I indicated the Deputy should pay the cost for the re-training on the breathalizer machine, you thought I was too harsh.

  • Guest Reply says:

    “What is in Penders water?”

    Splenda :-(

  • OtherGuest says:

    So do you advocate NOT firing him and sending him back to his office at the middle school?
    I would like to understand your position.

  • Support for Situation says:

    Well said. It’s people like the ones quick to BLAST someone and have Balls of Steel remaining Anonymous behind a Keyboard. It is true it was a very poor decision and he will pay for it, but there is more to the story than the Media will share unfortunately and make it worse. I’ve seen enough and think its sad and they shouldn’t allow all this crap to get posted and keep opinions to themselves, or say who you are and quit hiding behind a curtain like a coward!

  • Bchdude32 says:

    Okay folks… Ive always sat back and looked at what people say when things like this happen and I have a few things to say…… Anyone of you who immediately blast the Deputy here or any others who make mistakes in their career need to take a step back and think before you run your mouths.

    Have you or anyone in your family ever had problems? Issues that cause stress and problems in your personal/family life? Im betting you do. Heck Id even go as far as to say most of you reading this would have those problems to the extent that you would hope that the media and people wouldnt put your personal life on blast like the media LOVES to do just for a story.

    This is an unfortunate circumstance for Deputy Paluck, Pender County Sheriffs Office and everyone affected by it. But understand this, Deputy Paluck is HUMAN… Thats right folks… Law Enforcement officers are HUMAN just like you…. Which means they have to deal with all YOUR DRAMA, YOUR FRIENDS DRAMA, THE SCUM OF THE EARTH, and then and only then DEAL WITH THEIR OWN PERSONAL ISSUES>

    Yes they are held to a higher standard, but really!!! They deal with a lot to keep you safe and when you need them they are great. But god forbid they make a mistake and you are the first to crucify them and run your mouth.

    Anyone who knows Deputy Paluck knows that this is NOT his character. So maybe instead of being loud mouths, how about show some suport for someone who is HUMAN….. Cause you and your families are not better and you wouldnt like it if your problems were made a huge deal by the media.

    Yes he made a poor choice, obviously….. But just think for one minute that maybe there is more to this than just someone who decided to drink while driving a police car……. Dont be so ignorant folks…

  • deputy25 says:

    MISTAKE!!!!! i have been an officer for 28 years and had just as many problems with everything this world has to offer, but i did not drive while impaired. this is not a mistake, getting behind a wheel, especialy in a patrol vehicle, impaired is NOT A MISTAKE, IT IS INTENTIONAL!! dont make anyone who drives impaired a victim!!!

  • Angewidert says:

    when a woman who teaches dance to schoolchildren was plastered all over the news for a DUI not that long ago. Guess you must have missed it when WWAY also ran her photo with the article as well, unlike this guy. Maybe she just wasn’t someone you’re as close to as you apparently are with this guy.

    Where was your “Dont be so ignorant folks…” then? Seems like maybe you’re just a tad selective.

  • william valli says:

    That was not a mistake . That was his own choice. A bad choice .

  • anne says:

    No – Bchdude32. I have got behind the wheel of a car intoxicated and yes I have some problems but that would not excuse me for such stupid behavior as he exhibited. Thankfully no one else was injured, but they could have been because of his stupidity.

    And yes they are held to a higher standard BECAUSE they are out there making us obey the laws, and he chose to ignore the law.

    So quit spouting off your rhetoric and think before you speak.

  • Guestsfndi says:

    This guy is a religious fanatic, guess that ain’t helping much. How dare he put everyone else in danger !

    lol , captcha was “beer in a bottle”.

  • Guest 1492 says:

    Thank goodness you don’t have balls of steel and aren’t remaining anonymous but instead are using your real name “Support for Situation”! Gotta wonder though why your parents would choose to name you that. Maybe one of them had those steel balls.

  • JCNelson says:

    … hiding behind a curtain, “Guest 1492″.

    There’s simply not enough information in this story to immediately jump to a conclusion. I am NOT taking sides on this issue yet, but there are some missing details that should NOT be ignored.

    First, where is the BAC level? Second, how would a worker INSIDE the store be able to see someone OUTSIDE who is “swerving all over the road”?

  • nofaithnlaw says:

    Very well said.”It is not a mistake, it is intentional”. I don’t call that passing judgement or blasting anyone. I call that being honest. Thank you.

  • Guest717 says:

    -ex. Relative by ex marriage. How does that have any baring on this case? As far as the insinuation of nepotism, the case is to be tried in Onslow County, not Pender AND keep in mind he was fired immediately, not put on leave as others have been in the past.
    The ex-wife of a cousin should be left out of this, as should her brothers.

  • GuestInformer says:

    The above link takes you to a woman who is related, by marriage. But what you DON’T see is that the Director of Communications has an Assistant Director who happens to be her brother. The Director and Assistant Director work just down the hallway from their brother who is the “supervisor” of the Investigations Division.

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