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ONLY ON 3: Deputy under investigation after blocking handicapped parking space

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Add the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office to the list of local law enforcement agencies in the spotlight because of an officer's alleged bad behavior.

The actions of one deputy may have given the entire department a black eye. A disabled WWAY viewer claims a New Hanover County Sheriff's deputy intentionally blocked his handicapped spot in the parking lot of a Wilmington business.

The viewer, who wishes to remain anonymous, says he was heading to his daily workout at Planet Fitness on N. Kerr Ave. Tuesday. When he went to pull into a handicapped parking spot, he says a New Hanover County Sheriff's deputy cut him off and parked in a no-parking zone right next to the space, which kept him from being able to use it.

He later confronted the man inside the gym.

"I approached this individual and said, 'Do you realize that you're parked illegally?' And this individual's reply was that he was a cop," the man said. "I think that police should be of higher moral fabric than that."

The man is legally handicapped after having his leg severed and reattached following an automobile accident. He is not supposed to walk more than 300 feet at a time, though he admits he tries to avoid the handicapped parking spot.

He claims the issue here is not with the spot, but what else the officer could be getting away with.

"If this officer will take a handicapped stall and abuse his power in that manner, what other liberties might he be taking?" he said.

WWAY contacted the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, which says actions like this won't be tolerated.

"The sheriff has been made aware of it, and he is very concerned about it and has asked for an internal investigation into the situation," Sheriff's Office spokesman Cpl. Jason Augst said.

The Sheriff's Office has not yet identified the deputy involved citing personnel issues.

The victim says he is hopeful the officer will be disciplined for his actions, and that at the minimum he should have to face a fine.

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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the deputy is wrong!!

the deputy is wrong!! period. the striped spaces beside a handicapped spot is for van accessible. the sign should say that. the deputy knew what he was doing and being a "cop" doesn't matter. he should be written a citation. The picture is proof enough, but i do think the person complaining should come forward as a witness and be reassured that there will be no other problems for him from the dept!!!! if i had seen it, i would have written him a citation myself, you uphold the law no matter who it is. this is a pet peeve of mine and i do not like it when people take advantage of their "position' or misuse their handicap parking placard/tag either.

Where to start with this post?

First of all the spot is a no parking zone, it is for loading and unloading of handicapped equipment such as wheelchairs, etc., no sign means nothing, no sign is in the middle of an intersection either….. Secondly he was confronted by his accuser, the man walked right up to him and expressed his concerns, to no avail I might add, his answer” I’m a cop” wow. I was in law enforcement for 21 years, and on my department something like this would not have ever happened, we were accountable for our actions. Maybe people don’t get it, but when you have a few officers running around doing irresponsible acts like this then you most likely have a much bigger problem. I am new to the area, but I know when things like this are going on it’s like the tip of the iceberg. I am really surprised that the officer did something like this considering all the problems that are arising with officers getting into trouble recently. Something like this may seem trivial to some, but it sends a clear message to the citizenry of your city that the police are, exhibiting an attitude that they are untouchable, and this attitude comes from only one place, THE TOP.
P.S. to the cop involved, I hope that there are more police officers on the department than “cops” look up the word cop, no self respecting police officer would ever call themselves that.

Really?

Really? Here in Brunswick County I see this stuff all the time. I don't think there is a member of the sheriff's dept that knows what a speed limit is. I see them passing in the center lane on 179 all the time. I have seen them drive foolishly while responding to an accident and have seen them park in places they shouldn't.

Not all are bad, but the ones that are make the rest look bad

Wrong

This is ABSOLUTELY news worthy. Bad government officials who perceive themselves as being above the standards of us common citizens need to be called out, and removed. It is merely a symptom of their flawed thinking/mentality. They are to serve us, period. To think that a handicapped person (who had a severed leg) should "stand up and be a man" is along the same exact line of our upstanding federal officials (see Joe Biden asking a man in a wheelchair to stand up and be noticed). They just don't get it, and should be asked (or forced) to leave.

Actually

the deputy was parked in a handicapped spot by parking in the area with the striped white lines. Those are considered extensions of the handicapped parking spot for Vans and such with wheel chair ramps etc to have room to operate. See the link below for the actual wording from the NCDOT website. I've been in LE for right at 17 years and I'm tired of seeing all the local LEO's in the news lately for acts of varying stupidity & downright unethical behavior. It's one crappy story after another. I know that the vast majority of my brothers and sisters in LE are dedicated hard working officers but mess like this makes us all look bad. We took an oath. We're sworn to uphold the law and set an example for everyone else. The simplest way the deputy could have avoided any issue in this situation would have been to just park in a normal space and walk. Do I think the reporting person is a coward, no, not really. I think he has a right to expect better behavior from those of us sworn to serve and protect. Do I think the deputy should be demoted, suspended or anything, no, I don't. I think a stern talking to by his superiors would be sufficient. Not just for where he parked but for his response to the citizen who approached him. That's just my .02...

www.ncdot.gov/.../DMV_Brochure_Handicap_Placard_2010_05.pdf

Blah Blah

Just wait until the other dirty little secrets get out. If people only knew how corrupted this precious department is. Interoffice affairs, on duty sex-capades behind businesses or in parks during the night, domestic violence, drinking and driving. All the good stuff. But hey, who cares about all that! Unless SHP gets to them, they are all saints who are always above the law and can do no wrong according to the big boys!

Johnny "G"

Pal? The dude went face-to-face with the cop about his concerns and the cop said, "...derrrrrr duhhhhhh..I'm a cop...duhhhhh...deerrrrrrr..."

Instead of the cop saying, "I apologize. I'm so sorry. I'll move my car immediately. I didn't realize that parking in the voided off space NEXT to the handicap space would hinder you. I'm sorry."

But no, because in typical Brunswick/Pender/New Hanover cop fashion. The cop said, "...derrrrrr duhhhhhh..I'm a cop...duhhhh...derrrrr..I really have no moral compass.....derrrr..duhhhh...etc etc"

Do I really have to drag up more than a dozen examples from the past couple years to prove my point? Cops in this part of the state are an embarrassment to the profession.

...Derrrrrr

Ugh...

Fire him!

WHY IS A DEPUTY ALLOWED TO

WHY IS A DEPUTY ALLOWED TO USE HIS SQUAD CAR (WHICH WE TAXPAYERS PAY FOR!) TO GO TO THE GYM TO EXERCISE??

Hrmph

Do you think that's bad? I live in Burgaw ( on the northern side of the city limits ), and there's a New Hanover County Sheriff deputy that drives his squad car all the way out here to his house. It takes a good 30 minutes to get to New Hanover County. Should be illegal.

It is a common practice for

It is a common practice for officers to drive their cars home regardless of where they live. When I lived in Shallotte we had a State Trooper, a Deputy, a Shallotte officer, a Holden Beach officer and a Sunset Beach officer who lived in our neighborhood. It's not really that big of a deal and they do it to have more of a presence and that provides a level of safety to those around them.

that is nothing, there is a

that is nothing, there is a Caswell beach cop driving his squad car back and forth to Holden beach everyday

Because part of their job is

Because part of their job is needing to stay fit and healthy in order to perform their duties.

Yeah right

If that was the case, 80% of the LEO people in this area would actually be in shape. Most are obese to severely obese, especially on the Sheriff's side.

What agency do you work for?

Wouldn't walking a few extra parking spaces distance help with that goal? Kind of like taking the elevator to the gym, isn't it? As another said, "...derrrrrr duhhhhhh..I'm a cop...duhhhhh...deerrrrrrr...". That mentality was, and unfortunately still is the case in Leland, as well as the other agencies around here, as shown by this NHC deputy. That fact only comes to light when something like this comes out.

Ok once again another LEO

Ok once again another LEO thinks they are above the law. Should have just moved his vehicle when asked and it would have went away. But no had to tell the citizen he was the police. The other question would be was he conducting an investigation or working out on county time?

yes!

I do not condone this officers decision.However,as far as "working out on company time"...its because it is a requirement of most emergency workers to "work out" ON company time...There are many reasons and legalities why its that way,which alot of people dont understand....Instead of asking why we work out on duty,be glad that we do. The majority of us do it so we can be there when you are in a time of need.

I was on the job for 17

I was on the job for 17 years and was never told I had to work out on state time. If it is given to you by all means use it, but once again most of us can not work out while we are working. My time of need will be handled by me and me alone. I will give you a buzz when it is time to take the report.