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FIRST ON 3: Onslow Co. deputy resigns after traffic incident in SC

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ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- An Onslow County Sheriff's deputy has resigned after video surfaced online of his involvement in a traffic accident Monday evening in South Carolina.

The video shows Dep. Craig Culpepper pulling in front of a driver on I-526 in North Charleston, SC, and pumping his brakes, causing the vehicle behind him to hit his cruiser. North Charleston Police cited Culpepper for being responsible for the accident.

Culpepper told WWAY the driver of the other vehicle, Chad Walton, baited him into the incident.

"I fell for it hook, line and sinker," Culpepper told WWAY by phone Wednesday.

Law enforcement sources in South Carolina tell WWAY they have had frequent encounters with Walton, who they say often drives around recording video of law enforcement officers trying to catch them in bad situations.

"The video is not all of the pieces," Culpepper said. "It doesn't show everything that took place."

Culpepper says he wishes he had had a chance to tell his side of the story before the video appeared online and on television. WWAY tried multiple times Tuesday to get information from Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown, but he did not return our calls. We did not learn of his name until receiving an incident report from North Charleston Police this morning. NCPD did not return our calls last night.

Culpepper and a news release from the sheriff's office this morning say that before Walton's cell phone video begins, he rode up behind Culpepper and flashed his headlights and motioned for the deputy to get out of the way.

Culpepper says Brown offered him a chance to stay on as a detention officer. Culpepper says he chose to resign instead.

Culpepper, a father of four, says he was in the Charleston area because he was training to be a K9 officer. He said he had bought a dog on his own and paid for his own training, and was returning from completing the 40-hour course.

The Sheriff's Office says damage to the cruiser should be fixed for less than $100. Walton said Tuesday he hopes the Sheriff's Office will pay for repairs to his truck as well.

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.

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Go to his Facebook page for

Go to his Facebook page for his store "Chad Walton Racing". He sells tee shirts, one of which reads "Cops Lie". Mr. Walton obviously has a problem with authority.

Response from Charleston

If you will entertain this idea, you (Walton) slap someone in the face UNPROVOKED and then that person (Deputy) hits you with a baseball bat. Who's really to blame here? The reaction wouldn't have happened without the initial PROVOKED action/root cause. The Deputy should have held himself to a higher standard and should not have sank to Walton's "idiot" level. But Walton should be held accountable for his actions as well. Walton says that if he flashed his lights that a driver should politely move over. If you flashed your lights at me I would think your an A-hole, straight up. You started filming because he didn't move over when you flashed your lights at him? A REASONABLE person would not have immediately resorted to filming. It was clearly evident that Walton was speeding first and made an illegal pass on the right, which is solely an entrance/exit lane for Leeds Ave and Dorchester Rd. The reaction was excessive, and the Deputy deserved what he got. But Chad Walton, you should look at yourself in the mirror and know you're truly a D-bag. What do you do for a living again, race streetbikes on an amateur circuit and sell bike parts, right? Time to grow up my man. Interesting that if you look on Mr. Walton's facebook page he has a picture of his shop. There you will see where he stocks a t-shirt that says "Cops Lie". Chad, tell me you weren't grasping at straws to begin with; c'mon, we're not ALL that naive.

What is worst

Not sure what is worst a cop driving below the speed limit or flying down the road. I am on hwy 17 in Brunswick county all the time. The deputies are alway flying by without blue lights on. One night I have a little white car go by me flying and there was a duty following it all the way to Leland and to a restaurants.

after being in law

after being in law enforcement for 28 years,i see these new breed of officers with their oakley sunglasses on,basic boot camp haircuts, attitude as big as the moon and a head to go with it.not all officers,but a lot more than used to be.they are taught to DOWNPLAY their authority.they take a oath holding a BIBLE and then they throw the BIBLE away and forget the oath they swore to.You have no POWER, just AUTHORITY there is a difference!when out of state as i have been,you do as the romans do,their town,their law,respect it. you have no authority their whatsoever.when out of your jurisdiction,if a robbery or officer needing help pops up in front of you,by all means, use your authority then to help out.people speed all the time on the I526,been there myself in my patrol car.i got in the right hand lane and went with the flow,down I-26&I-95 as well.seems that when they get a blue light and car they forget that who they are. they are still human and citizens are human.you get respect[most of the time]by acting with respect.sure you gotta do what you gotta do to some, but 99% of the time you will get respect if you act with a better attitude[KARMA] happens good as well as bad!the uniform doesnt make the man,the man makes the uniform.do your job,talk with people, community policing is nothing new.get to know the people.it is not just about being in CONTROL.that is not our job,our job is to deter crime,help when called upon uphold the law with common sense,but not upplay your authority.you can lose that badge easily as you get it. INTEGRITY IS BEING HONEST WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING [OR FILMING THESE DAYS] He had the right to film,dont be the monkey in the show when one does film.be an officer and a gentleman.lay down at night with a clear mind,soul that you helped someone rather than you hurt someone.we are not judge and jury,it is our job to put them in the courtroom if need be or called upon.be looked up to and not down and do the same for yourself.you are your own worst enemy before you ever put on the badge and go out the door to work!!!

Thank you.

Thank you very much for your comments that echo exactly what I have observed as well.

I've been in public safety for a long time but building and maintaining dispatch systems, and every senior officer or Chief I talk to always say that the biggest issue they face is finding officers that will NOT act as this individual just acted.

Sadly there's bad apples in every bushel, and while people are attacking the victim here, he did a service to the community at large this week by helping expose someone who shouldn't be in the field of public safety.

"He Lost His Job" (??????)

1. Deputy Craig Culpepper stated in this interview, that he lost his job because of this event?
(Fact is...He resigned. Lost and resigned have 2 separate meanings in this case.)
2. "Law enforcement sources in South Carolina tell WWAY they have had frequent encounters with Walton, who they say often drives around recording video of law enforcement officers trying to catch them in bad situations."
(Apparently he has reason to do this. I think we've noticed a thing or 2 in our area from recent and past news reports of unethical actions by police/deputies.)

We will probably notice a trend forthcoming of citizens doing the same as Chad Walton has done via video, from this point on...and it may be a good thing IMO, if for anything...an awareness wake up call from both sides of the drivers wheel. The law applies to us all...and Big Brother is watching.

While everyone is throwing

While everyone is throwing the cop under the bus, I have to wonder why someone feels justified doing the following things - #1 - speeding, #2 Hands off the wheel while using his cell phone, #3 Flashing his lights at a cop to get out of the way??? This guy "frequently records while he's driving"???? He's breaking every law there is and he's not liable for his failure to brake properly? If you play like that, you have to accept the consequences - period. That guy needs HIS license taken away.

cop resigns

If you observe the cop passing him and turn hard and hits his breaks to create the accident.The cop is who tried to create a dangerous situation.you obviously are trying to protect bad cops.That makes you just as bad or your stupid,

I had a cousin several years

I had a cousin several years back who had a car change lanes in front of him then slam on brakes. My cousin hit his brakes but could not avoid hitting the other fella. My cousin is the one that got ticketed. Why is it different in this case? The officer did say that he didn't do the right thing, but this Walton fella sure wasn't an innocent party. What Walton did had to be the equivalent of texting while driving and he is apparently one of these people who think that just because you have your hazard lights on, that gives you license to drive fast, drive like an idiot or park wherever you want to. He certainly needs to go back to driver's ed.

One of these times Douchebag Walton

is gonna screw with the wrong person and get his arse handed to him and deservedly so. If I was the PD in the area I will pull this tool over everytime he's on the damn road for reasonable suspicion of anything. If he so much as bloody well sneezes or crosses a line slightly. Pull him over and demand a roadside sobreity test. This Walton clown obviously has serious issues of his own if he's out trying to stir up crap and looking for trouble. Since he wants to find trouble Im sure the SCHP and others will be more then happy to oblige. Enough by the bok encounters with the PD and charging him each adn everytime he does somethind stupid might finally result in some action. Hit him where it hurts his wallet and his insurance rates and possible loss of his license for points (they do add up quick if you make one too many illegal lane changes and other things which are overlooked by a lot of cops). This Robin Hood wannabe will either quit the bull**( or he'll learn a costly and expensive lesson. Reality is most cops are hard working folks like everybodyelse sure there are a-holes I know cause Ive run into a few along the way but hardly all. This dude has serious mental issues that may need to be examined before he does something really stupid.

Yikes!

"This dude has serious mental issues that may need to be examined before he does something really stupid."

I thought the same thing about you when I read your comment.

Um, you completely

Um, you completely overlooked the fact that the officer was the one breaking the law, impeding traffic, failing to yield. Then when he finally did he made a decidedly aggressive maneuver and essentially caused an accident. The fact that Mr Walton caught it on tape is the only good thing to come of this. Quit making excuses for the real offender, the cop.

Your wrong

If you look in the video you can see Mr. Walton speed up and hit Mr. Culpepper. Also he was on hisphone, which by the way you can't do!! The deputy was trying to slow down he driver he did what he needed to and i applaude him for it! Mr. Culpepper should not have been fired

ANNnnnnD

You'd loose your job...and rightfully so

Above the law?

Cops think they are above the law. Period. And they will look out for each other. Someone I know who is a retired cop was actually pulled over this morning for speeding. 58mph in a 45mph. When the cop walked up to his car, he noticed the blue stripe sticker in his window. He let him off instantly. WHY??!!! He was speeding! More than 10 miles over! What makes this retired cop any better than me or you or anyone else? I also know cops who have been vendictive enough to when they are mad at someone about a personal issue, they will tell other cops to look out for someone by giving them their description (vehicle, tag#, etc) and follow, stalk, whatever you want to call it so to catch them when they make a mistake, no matter how small. Cops should be held to higher standards then the public. If they break they law, they should instantly be punished. After all, they are the ones who are suppose to uphold these laws. And get rid of those blue stripe stickers! Those should be against the law. That's like a "get out of jail free" card...indefinitely!

Hey JackE, get off

your soap box. You say, "And get rid of those blue stripe stickers!" If you think the purpose of those stickers are to "get out of jail free" you are sadly mistaken. Those stickers are a single blue strip with a black background and are a show of support for the many law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. I guess we should also ban the pink ribbon stickers oh and the Obama support stickers too. I'm not in law enforcement and I don't have one of those stickers, but I think I may go get me one of them thar "get out of jail free" cards. (And yes, I am intelligent enough to realize nothing about that last sentence is proper usage of grammar. A$$!!

really?

I love that you whine about cops not getting tickets under an article where a cop got a ticket! Lol! My 70 year old aunt got pulled for speeding and did not get a ticket, is my Aunt Connie "above the law"? She will be thrilled that working in a factory all those years got her in the "above the law" club you are so afraid of. Oh and you figured out ONLY cops are vendictive, no one else on earth is, jst cops huh? You've got it all figured out.

The people saying the driver

The people saying the driver was at fault need to learn the rules of the road. You maintain the right lane except to pass. Period. You don't cruise along in the passing lane, talking on your cell phone, eating, talking, or picking your nose (like most people in the left lane today) blocking faster traffic. Doesn't matter who what fast they are going. You move over. Cop should have set the example, instead he created a dangerous situation. There is no danger in a citizen driving 70 or even 80 in a 60mph zone.

He "baited" you into

He "baited" you into slamming on the breaks in front of him? Yea, that makes perfect sense.

Fair Dinkum

Sheriffs and police chiefs should remind their subordinates that the proliferation of dashboard cameras, smartphone cameras, video cameras in the hands of the citizens that they serve will only increase with time. As a result, so will the ability of citizens to record and publish the actions of the officers. Be safe and act like someone is watching because they might just be not only watching, but recording.

I am a NC leo and I think

I am a NC leo and I think the deputy is an idiot! He was impeding the flow of traffic first of all, which causes a unsafe situation. Then he gets passed and pulls back in front of the guy. Regardless of what Chad was doing the deputy had no jurisdiction to take any enforcement action, and should have been in the slow lane and out of the way.

Facts!!

At 00:56 approximately in the video you can see Mr. Waltons' speed as he passes under the bridge. He is driving a ford truck and the speed denomination is by 10s on the speedometer. The travel speed he is running is over 60. As you know the speed limit in that area is 60. The vehicle beside the cop car is keeping the same pace so its more probable than not that the vehicles were traveling at speed and not below the speed limit.

Mr. Walton found the outside lane to pass in to show that he was aware that the Deputy from out of State could cause him no harm. This move was disrespectful and if this was a Deputy with proper jurisdiction he would have had a ticket for speeding.

Mr. Walton speedometer is still visible after he makes the pass however the speed is not illuminated. I looked and compared and approximated his speed to be in the 70s. It is also evident in the video that he is catching the traffic in front of him at a rapid pace. Its more reasonable that the four cars in front of him were going the speed limit and Mr. Walton was driving aggressively above speed because he knew the cop was out of his jurisdiction.

I am playing devils advocate because of the post that I have seen. The officer made no mistakes until the truck passed him and from there forward he was in the wrong. The ex deputy indicates in other social media his wrongs and his embarrassment. The officer should have called local law enforcement and followed the vehicle until they could catch up. No one is perfect..

I, too noticed the car

I, too noticed the car running beside the deputy's car. It is unusual for anyone to run less than the posted speed on most any highway. But, so what if the deputy was driving under the limit, just pass him and go on, like Walton did. That should have been the end of it, but Culpepper had to take it a step farther. In the first part of the video, it appears Walton was tailgating, which in itself will PO most drivers. So, the deputy, even though he did make a bad decision, was being harassed. I would imagine Walton will get what's coming to him sooner or later.

re: "Facts"

You are incorrect.

From United States Uniform Vehicle Code:

"Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic"

and SC Code 56-5-1810(b):

(b) Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

and SC Code 56-5-2920:

Any person who drives any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate either a wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

Sorry, but your "facts" are seriously flawed.

Your attempt to analyze this incident is somewhat accurate, but the "fact" is that from the very begining of this incident, the deputy was obviously and purposefully impeding "normal" traffic flow. General rule is: Right lane slower traffic, Left lane for passing (If nothing else at all, that's the basic use of "courtesy", remember?). That's pretty simple and has always been the norm. I can guarentee you that if the officer had flashed a civilian driver lumbering in the left lane (even in a non-emergency situation) and was met with that sort of blatant and ignoring response, he would have been pulled and cited.

The officer made several mistakes. He was impeding the normal flow of traffic by knowingly and intentionally blocking the passing lane. He made intentional intimidating actions by speeding up and cutting the other driver off in anger. In case you didn't know, applying your brakes to someone following too closely AND causing an accident is breaking the law known as, "Failure to Avoid an Accident". The officer was NOT in a jurisdiction that afforded him any authority. The officers willful and intentional actions caused an accident which could have been much more serious. The officer did not use the sound judgement to contact jurisdictional authorities to address this incident, most likely because he was WRONG from the very beginning.

This isn't about being perfect at all. Not by any means of the imagination. This is about being a power hungry, narcissitic hot-head without the capacity to utilize prudent judgement, even in a simple incident. We simply don't need those types acting in a professional law enforcement capacity. He's done!

Slamming on brakes in front

Slamming on brakes in front of someone is not failure to avoid and accident...SORRY!! It actually is CARELESS AND WRECKLESS OPERATION OF A MOTOR VEHICLE!!

Sorry, but all the deputy

Sorry, but all the deputy had to do was speed up or slow down and move into the right lane. Nothing is more annoying than someone on a four-lane highway going the same speed as the car in the next lane when there is no need. Just move into the other lane. It impedes the flow of traffic.

The deputy was just being a stubborn and petty jerk. Fortunately for Walton he captured the hot-headed officer's reckless actions on tape. If not, he probably would have been ticketed.

So

An NC Sheriff, travelling on a SC road see's a guy speeding and doesn't call it in? He doesn't pickup his cell phone to make a call, give them a plate number?

No the NC SHeriff jams this idiot up causing an accident.
Perhaps the guy was speeding? THAT in retrospect, doesn't matter because the NC Sheriff had no jurisdiction but had the ability to get those in charge out there. He as an LEO could still testify as an expert witness to the speed involved in a SC courtroom if needed.
No, this clown from Onslow jacks up his brakes.
He embarrasses the department and sheriffs in general.
And YOU decide that this Walton guy was speeding?
You MAY be right but our illustrious LEO coulda and shoulda called the appropriate agency.
And didn't......
The LEO was wrong
He should also pay for repair of damages to Waltons truck with his last paycheck........

Vog

1. You fail to comprehend

1. You fail to comprehend that the officer was already breaking the law to begin with by impeding left lane traffic. Doesn't matter who is going what speed, you use the left lane for passing only and always yield to faster traffic.

2. Police officers are public taxpayer funded service people. They work for us. They do not get to hand out tickets because they were "disrespected". They have to respect us, they're paycheck.

Average speed was about 60 MPH prior to the pass....

There are two mile markers on the stretch of road in the video. The first is just after they get on the bridge, and mile marker 13 can be seen passing at 11 seconds in the youtube video.

Google maps link:
http://goo.gl/maps/iW2RB

At about 1:11 in the youtube video, they pass mile marker 14. He turns the camera to the left, so you cannot actually see the mile marker, but directly across the road from it is the back side of the sign that says leeds Rd. Just to the left you can see MM 14.

So, it appears the Mr. Deputy was driving AT the speed limit. Doesn't excuse what he did later, but he also wasn't driving slow prior.

Goggle maps link:
http://goo.gl/maps/YSgvT

One minute elapsed time for a one mile distance = 60 MPH.

Youtube video link so we are all looking at the same thing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HROigWi-CcU&sns=fb