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.