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

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Submitted: Thu, 03/21/2013 - 3:59am
Updated: Thu, 03/21/2013 - 1:08pm

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.

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47 Comments on "FIRST ON 3: Onslow Co. deputy resigns after traffic incident in SC"

Charleston Resident
2015 years 8 months ago

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.

2015 years 8 months ago
NC Resident
2015 years 8 months ago

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..

2015 years 8 months ago

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.

2015 years 8 months ago

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:

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:

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

Youtube video link so we are all looking at the same thing: