Drivers called 911 to report Leland officer cited for DWI

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Submitted: Tue, 09/24/2013 - 3:59am
Updated: Tue, 09/24/2013 - 12:35pm

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — A Leland Police officer is off the streets after he was cited for DWI over the weekend, but the town says there might be more to the story.

“There is a silver Dodge pick-up truck driving erratically, a high rate of speed,” a caller told New Hanover County 911 Saturday morning. “He has run off the road and almost hit trees several times.”

Multiple calls to dispatch like this one led the Pender County Sheriff’s Office to Leland Police officer Ryan O’Connor.

“He’s really driving like… ah, I don’t know, like I don’t know,” the concerned driver reported. “It’s hard to explain. I’ve never seen it before in my life.”

The calls started coming in after drivers spotted the truck near the Battleship North Carolina on US 421. One driver followed it to I-140 then I-40, where a Pender County deputy pulled O’Connor over in the undercover, town-owned truck.

When O’Connor identified himself as a police officer, the deputy called in Highway Patrol to take over.

A news release from the Town of Leland says breath tests at showed no alcohol in O’Connor’s system. Troopers took him to the hospital for a blood draw.

Highway Patrol Sgt. T.A. Sinclair says two troopers, including a drug recognition expert, believed O’Connor was impaired, which led to his DWI citation.

Leland Town Manager David Hollis says a day before the incident O’Connor slipped and hit his head while working. He said O’Connor was sent home that night because he was lethargic after the accident.

Hollis says a doctor later diagnosed O’Connor with a concussion. O’Connor has filed a workers comp claim. He is on paid leave until Leland Police and Highway Patrol complete their investigations.

Hollis says Highway Patrol suspended O’Connor’s license for 30 days.


  • Curious says:

    How long is the investigation between Leland and the State Troopers going to take? And why is this incident not all over the media more than the initial story? Is it too close to election time??

  • Guest000" says:

    It sounds to me like you are one bitter, most likely fired Leland Cop. Get over yourself!

  • Kblue2221984 says:

    I have no comment. JOKE!!!!!! I do not know this Officer. But if found guilty I will have plenty to say. Also their is no “Good Ol boy” system in Leland. If their was I would have heard about it and laid my smack down on some candy booties!!!! That’s just how I roll. Crooked Cops SUCK!!!! I worked with a couple of them for years….. Say’s who!? Say’s Kblue!!!

  • Guest2020 says:

    Why would Dosher send him to New Hanover for an MRI? Dosher has has an MRI machine and doctors that are capable of interpreting the results. The thing I don’t get is if they said he had a concussion, why did they schedule an MRI for later in the week instead of having one at the time.

  • CORRUPTION says:

    This is a bad corrupt cop who knows he’s in trouble for being in a “company” vehicle OFF DUTY DRUNK! NOW, the union advised him to run to the Doctor and use the – “I had a concussion” excuse to prolong the enevitable. Now that he’s thrown that card out, he’s protected with a pay check while he figures out his next move. He will soon put in for a medical retirement do to his head injury, and because the town will fight this, he will continue to gather paychecks for the next few years. You’ll see! C O R R U P T I O N !

  • Intothetruth says:

    I was so glad that you let us know what a morally conscious person you are. Guess mine are a little different. First of all read the facts. The officer was not driving drunk which was made obvious when he passed all breathalyzer tests. Seems to me you travel in the same social circles as this officer or you would not ” know ” so much. Seems you might be a bit bitter. Did you not get promoted and this officer did? Poor you!! Maybe he “scathed” all the other mess bec he was something people call innocent ! What kills me us this officer risks his life every day and not only that suffered a concussion while performing his job. Since you have the time to mouth off to make yourself feel better why not spend some time researching the symptoms of a concussion. Most of which this officer exhibited. Big difference in being drunk or having a concussion !!!! The unfair treatment is of this officer who was injured but didnt know the severity of his injury and kept working. Pretty sad when we live in a society where this man is not treated as innocent until proven guilty. But the scum bags he takes off our streets are. Also pretty sad that you obviously have a large chip on your shoulder. Will you be posting an apology when he is cleared or will you go back in your dark , pathetic corner ? If you don’t think people don’t know who you are and why you are so angry you are truly the drunk one here. Do something good with your time like I just did. I hope more people are like me as I’m gonna wait for the facts sir instead of slandering people.

  • Guest2222 says:

    Can you not read? Apparently not. This Officer was in a work car because he was ON CALL and he was not drunk. Please explain to me how you can blow all 0’s and be drunk. I’d love to hear how this is possible! Seriously, you think you know everything, yet you obviously know nothing.

  • Inquiring mind says:

    I don’t know the whole story however I am looking at the facts. There is an individual (let’s leave the fact that he’s a police officer out of it for now) that was driving recklessly, to a point that someone called him in to say how he was driving, so it must have been pretty bad. Then an officer must have observed something that made it worthwhile for him to see fit to stop this said vehicle for the possibility of drunk driving. That officer felt the male driver was impaired and called a highway patrolman, which also felt this person was impaired. If I recall correctly, the news is also putting out that a drug agent was also called to assess this person. He also felt this driver was impaired. Now bringing forward the fact this person is an officer, if he had stopped me and then at this point I advised him I was suffering from a concussion, with no doctors evaluation, no proof, in fact the way the news release is reading, he had not even been seen by a doctor at this point. Would he have not charged me for a DUI as well? Can we say the officers that charged this individual is wrong for charging him? I think NOT! Don’t bash us for looking at the situation for the TRUE way it LOOKS instead of through jaded glasses because we know him or we are friends with him. I’m not against this officer or against law enforcement at all, I’m just looking at the big picture.

  • CHris says:

    I’m sure you know exactly what that is, as you are pushing that agenda. Your first claim that DWI is associated with alcohol couldn’t be further from the truth. DWI(Driving while impaired), is a charge handed down when IMPAIRED. Please cite your LE “knowledge” when pulling smoke. A DWI, has, can, and will result from ANY TYPE OF IMPAIRMENT.

    #2 Blood tests take several weeks to complete, been there, done that.

    #3 I’m guessing that due to your logic, medical professionals have no idea what they are talking about.

    #4 Another fine reason why this man shouldn’t have been impaired. Medical condition or drugs, he had no right to be driving and he should have notified his Sergeant or another superior of the problem without putting lives at risk.

    #5 “The media” as you refer to them has access to arrest records, including citations; They are public information. I suppose it’s perfectly fine to showcase mugshots of the citizens that cops consider “less-than”, yet as soon as one of the town’s golden boys gets a little attention, here comes violin.

  • car501 says:

    The town and its PD has a culture and leadership problem. Neither can stay out of harms way. The town and the PD seems to attract staff that can’t stay out of harms way as well. There seems to always be something negative and embarrassing regarding the PD on the horizon. That comes right back to culture and leadership.

  • Tracy Bannon says:

    Has no one learned anything..DO NOT condemn the man without knowing ALL question is why was he allowed to drive if he was lethargic?..

  • Plot thickens says:

    So, I was proven right, along with a few others that have commente. Taken from Star News post, it states……The Highway Patrol took O’Connor to Pender Memorial Hospital in Burgaw to have blood testing done for any other impairing substance, the town news release says. After being charged Saturday, O’Connor went to the Dosher Memorial Hospital emergency room in Southport where a doctor confirmed he had suffered a concussion.O’Connor has filed a worker’s compensation claim and is scheduled for an MRI test later this week, according to the release.

    Why, if he was suffering from a head injury as they are saying, did Pender Memorial Hospital not pick up on this? Why then would you go to a community hospital such as Dosher Memorial to be seen? Why wouldnt you go where they treat trauma patients and go to NHRMC, where they can handle any type of injury? Again, I have to ask the question, if his head injury and trauma to his head is so bad to impair his ability to drive, why wouldnt Dosher Memorial send him to NHRMC for a MRI right then? Why did he not seek medical attention until AFTER he was charged? Was he told to do this to cover his story up, sounds like it to me. The plot thickens……..

  • guesty says:

    Nowhere in the story does it say the officer was on-call. You can get a DUI for things other than alcohol.

  • Old Guy says:

    Here we go! When all that stuff started three years ago and over 34 officers left for one reason or another and in different ways one wonders if all of the bad blood left. Well guess what O’Connor was one of the bad ones too and there are also several others that have been hid under the table. I have pleaded with the leaders in Leland to clean house but they choose to let this bad behavior continue. This will not get better! It will only get worse. From the level just under the Chief on down. There is an old, old saying “What ever you’ve heard about Leland is True”!!!!

  • Bye Bye Bad Guys says:

    Having always been morally opposed to driving under any influence; one would think it would be hard to justify, try to make right, the irresponsible choice to drink and drive.

    In this case, bravo to Officer Ryan O’Connor. Bravo!!! What a fine choice you made, so early on a Saturday morning!

    You see, this is not Officer Ryan O’Connor’s only strike. He has quite a few, actually. How did O’Connor scathed the mass exodus of the Police Chief, Deputy Police Chief, Two Lieutenants, and two officers. With two of the formers (Lt. Kozak and Blasingame) being his best friends and partners.

    Remember the infamous bachelor party? You know the one where General Jayne punched officer Holman and got real cozy with Betty the “Doll”. That wasn’t all that happened. Was it, O’Connor? Get into any fights???

    When Officer Sherry Lewis was assaulted, the drug task force, for the Town of Leland, created fictitious events that caused another policing agency to search Officer Lewis’ home. Do you understand that? She was assaulted at work (assailants being cops/coworkers), completely violated, and then her home was searched. Who was on this task force? Bill Kozak, John Blasingame, and Ryan O’Connor.

    There are two existing members of the Leland Police Department, for whatever reason, survived the termination of the entire command staff, which should have been gone with their fellow wrongdoers. Obviously, O’Connor and the other….You should have never illegally followed orders from CORRUPT POLICE CHIEF TIM JAYNE to follow the wife of a cop being targeted by the Leland PD. The serious crime the cops were breaking laws to solve – Who is Kblue? Seriously. I guess these yahoos found it okay to violate federal and state employment, labor, criminal, statutory, etc., etc., etc. laws, they also would like to take away our freedom of speech.

    One more thing, Patrick McGowan, Leland’s spokesperson, many of your fellow officers went on statement regarding you working on Chief Jayne’s home, while on the clock. However, per the investigation, you deny this. So, you’re good at boats? Thanks for fighting crime!

    Keep cleaning, the house is still a mess!

  • suzyq says:

    Why judge someone if you don’t know the whole story

  • Not Kblue says:

    Speaking of Kblue, where are you?

    You need to start planning that cookout! We’re getting close to “Last Man Standing!”

    Don’t forget my invite :)

    Say’s who? Not Kblue!!!


  • Guest0827 says:

    After reading these posts it seems that civility is absent in most of our society. Most well adjusted people prefer to live in a safe and peaceful environment. That is only possible when those that are willing to put their life in harms way, do so for the betterment of society. However, there are others who sit in their chairs and view life through their tv sets and the Internet. They have no problem forming their biased opinions based on limited and mostly inaccurate information. They seem to have no issue with slandering someone, just to feel self important. Unfortunately they share their opinions under the cloak of anonymity.

    The media shares “a” story not always “the” story. How about just the facts and not opinions.


    1. DWI is associated with alcohol, yet none was found present in his system. Both with sobriety, breathalyser, and blood tests.

    2. On that “same day”, the “hospital” alone diagnosed the concussion.

    3. The same symptoms from last week are still present days later.

    4. He was on call and was required to be in his service vehicle.

    It is a sad day when there is such vicious attacks against someone based solely on “a” story and opinions. My question is why? He was never put under arrest.

    Also, I was wondering how did the media get the information so quickly? Had the media been tipped off by someone with inside knowledge who has a jealous vendetta against this police officer?
    That question can be quickly answered by determining when the citation was submitted versus to when the media was alerted.

  • Columbus n da house says:

    I feel bad for the new chief. How can he do anything when he inherited the most idiotic command staff in history of law enforcement. Smith is a know it all who know one can stand, pierce has only been a bike cop and bought a degree from, McGowan is just as bad as the others who left, only thing is the ones that left could at least do police work. McGowan is a joke.

  • Guest1851658 says:

    Did they do a breathalyzer? What did it show if they did? Jeez……looks like a cover-up in the making. Let’s all take a guess as to how this will turn out.

  • GuestGuest1851658 says:

    Guest1851658 you ask “Did they do a breathalyzer”?

    It appears you did not read the article. They did a blood test on him. The most accurate available test of alcohol in the body is the blood test.

  • Guest11221 says:

    My question(s) is/are “was he intoxicated or not?” When did he file the workman’s comp. claim? Why did the Pender Sheriff’s Office hand the case over to the Highway Patrol?

    This police department better make sure the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed in this investigation or The National Enquirer oops I mean WWAY will be hot on the trail!!

  • Cover up says:

    If he was under doctors care and out on sick leave then why was he in his company vehicle, his undercover car? AND in Pender County? So 2 and 2 doesn’t add up to 4 on that one. If he was in fact out on sick leave then he should have been in his personal vehicle and if it was so bad that he was under doctors care for this, then why was he driving? Furthermore, why wasn’t he given an MRI before now if this was such a bad fall, instead of later in the week? NHRMC does them all day long. If this is a Workmans Compensation injury, it should have been done immediately, was he seen then? Was he given a drug/alcohol test then? When was the Workmans Comp claim filed? My bet is that it wasn’t Thursday night/Friday morning. I bet it was Saturday or Sunday to help this situation out.

  • Deputy25 says:

    Well said. Does make you think.

  • Guest45 says:

    head injury or not, on or off duty or not, what does that have to do with being impaired and putting the public at risk?

  • Cover Up says:

    Ok, so he fell and hit his head, but several days later gave an appearance of being impaired? That wouldn’t just appear several days later. Furthermore why didn’t he pull over and call for help. I think we can safely assume he is part of the GOOD OLE BOY system, especially since the Star News is reporting he was given 30 days WITH pay. An officer was just suspended 28 days WITHOUT pay for not letting someone video tape him, yet when it was all said and done it’s apparent he was videoing it himself since this news station put parts of it on their news cast, yet your taking an officer out for 30 days with pay for a DWI, something’s wrong here. Leland PD needs to get their heads on straight and I think this officer that was just given an unjust amount of days of suspension needs to take this to an attorney. He would win in my book! I might would be one of those 12 people on the jury. Not the air heads that are making decisions like this.

  • Guest55555567321 says:

    The Keel guy is the same one who was on the news a few weeks ago for being beat up while on duty. So he might really have a mental/ medical issue with someone walking up on him being hostile. But I’m guessing he’s one of the good cops that actually does a good job and isn’t in the good ol boy club. So of course 28 days unpaid for a minor incident. Drive drunk and put my family in danger. That’s right my family was on the roads that morning. And you get a bunch of currupt supervisors helping you make up a cover up story. I am disappointed and very angry. Sad thing is he will probably get out of it and promoted

  • deputy 25 says:

    not taking up for the officer or anything, But if he was out on sick leave since he hit his head then they cant suspend him without pay while he is on sick leave. but if he was in fact drunk and not head injuries, then he needs to be fired as soon as he is off sick leave. cant fire when under a dr’s care either. shame !

  • Guest1851658 says:

    When I made my original comment (12:01 PM), there was no mention of a blood test or anything else. An updated account was posted by WWAY ar 12:59 PM that included this information. Any further comments about who read what?

  • Guester says:

    Print this or not, head injury or not, most everyone in the know KNOWS what him and Blasingame used to ride around doing, only Blas got fired.

  • Thanks says:

    I do not know this officer or his work history but he had an injury while trying to serve and protect. Has anyone bothered to take the time to thank him for his service? While we hear all the time that teachers are underpaid we don’t hear enough about officers being on the low end of the pay scale. They too deserve recognition for the risks they take and our lives that they protect. Be safe, all officers, for your mothers, wives, children and loved ones!

  • Guest0924 says:

    Finally someone with a heart comments! How insensitive and heartless some of you are! This Officer has a true medical condition that impaired his judgement. If you have ever had a concussion, you would understand that you don’t always know right away that you have one and you do things you don’t realize you are necessarily doing. If you read the stories, he was not drunk and blew a 0.0 multiple times, so let that go. I have the privilege of knowing this Officer personally and anyone else who knows him, will tell you that he has an excellent work ethic and does a job that not many would want to do, much less for the pay he is compensated with. How about getting off your high horses and thanking some of these guys instead of constantly criticizing? All these news stations want to do is highlight everyone at their worse, where are they when they are saving lives and keeping us safe? Seriously, get your facts straight before judging and commenting.

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