Former deputy guilty of tasing utility worker

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Submitted: Thu, 03/27/2014 - 3:01am
Updated: Thu, 03/27/2014 - 12:30pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A former New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy accused of tasing a utility worker has been found guilty of simple assault.

The district attorney says former deputy Reed Roberts not only used his taser, but tried to use his service weapon and handcuffs on Duke Energy contract worker Jerome Wallace. Wallace came to Roberts’s Pender County home last fall to restore power after a late payment.

“I see him come out of the house with the gun. I had no idea what he would do next,” Wallace said on the stand.

Wallace says the whole incident started from something small: the late payment of an electric bill.

Wallace was given an order to cut the power off in Robert’s home for non-payment, and when the bill was finally paid, he returned to restore power.

That’s when he says the trouble started.

“I turned around and Mr. Roberts was directly behind me. He started screaming, hollering about his barricade, and ‘what the f*** are you doing back here and you mother f*****,’” Wallace said.

Roberts told investigators he was upset because he thought Wallace damaged some logs Roberts used to barricade a hole in his fence.

Wallace says after restoring power he tried to leave but was again confronted by Roberts.

“By then he was screaming, ‘you better not f****** leave, you better not f****** leave. I want your ID.’ And I turned around and said, ‘sir my ID is in my truck, if you let me in, I’ll get it to you,’ but before I could say anything, he shot me with the taser,” Wallace explained.

Wallace was able to get out his pepper spray to fight back.

“He didn’t see it coming, and I just pepper sprayed him in his face,” he said.

Investigators say Roberts went back into his house to get his gun as Wallace drove off scared, and hurt.

The judge stripped Roberts of his law enforcement credentials and sentenced him to 12 months probation and a 30-day suspended jail term.


  • Guesteasy says:

    Great news, this now ex cop is an idiot !!

  • Corrupt Cop says:

    Good they got this BAD GUY off the streets!

  • guest6969696969 says:

    OUR, City, County POLICE & Firemen/Women/Employees’ , NOT getting Wage/raises , WHILE DUKE Energy AND CFPUA, raises rates, Higher & higher,,, These People Who are working as PUBLIC SERVANTS, are applying for food stamps, OR otherwise, In other words, “Public Assistance”, even THEY are getting behind, on their Utility bills.. Think, this may-be a future “growing trend”? LEO “flipping out” ,, because they cannot pay their utility Bills? (I’m positive there is more to this story)…
    What happens when MOST of Our Residents cannot afford *utilities*???
    Because ever increasing “Rate Hikes” by Duke energy & CFPUA ???
    Un-intended Consequences indeed, will become the NORM?

  • Guest Mechanic says:

    You sound about as nutty and crazy as the flipped out deputy. Hope you don’t have a concealed carry permit. Both of you run in the same circle. It is really scary to think (and know) that loose cannons like this former officer are running around with guns and the power of arrest. A sign of the times, I guess. Very sad……….and dangerous.

  • dickerson says:

    Guess what Einstein? No one makes them take those jobs, its voluntary and they can always leave. Maybe they should go work for the power company. Violence is NEVER acceptable even if your power is shut off, this COP has other issues thats for sure.

  • OtherGuest says:

    This is a strange and disturbing rant. Because the utility worker (who presumably represents the continuing rise of utility rates) comes to RETURN this person’s (who presumably represents the downtrodden public servant) electrical service, he should be bullied and threatened, attacked, and maybe even killed by that person. How many more of you are out there?

  • Michael says:

    At Guest two-fingers on the 6 and 9 keys…did you come up with that theory all by yourself?

    Here is another…10 – 20%. As in 10 – 20 percent of everybody in EVERY occupation has a number of bad apples…and the good organizations are those the try and identify them and weed them out.

    Surgeons, priests, cops, firemen, school teachers. Every one of those occupations (because they are comprised of humans) has a percent of their employees who are liars, thieves, cheaters, and bullies. A lot of bullies in the law enforcement profession. This is an article about one of them.

    CFPUA…and Duke Energy, and Charlotte Mayors, etc… But to say that rising energy bills is the causal reason for someone to go postal? Are you a psychologist, braniac?

    That’s some good humor.

  • just GT says:

    Yes electric rates are going up because of all this global warming garbage. We need cheap electricity and forget the co2 emission BS. One day you may be told you cant have a child because they create co2. Think not? Look at the evil morons in power nowm

  • just GT says:

    Yes electric rates are going up because of all this global warming garbage. We need cheap electricity and forget the co2 emission BS. One day you may be told you cant have a child because they create co2. Think not? Look at the evil morons in power nowm

  • Southeasternleo40 says:

    That post was so incoherent it was hard to make any sense of it. As a current LEO I find what this former deputy did to be absolutely disgraceful. There’s nothing to justify the way the former deputy reacted and the use of the taser. Yes, we don’t make a lot of money in LE, but, we also enter this career knowing it doesn’t pay all that well. That in no way excuses this kind of behavior, period. If he was upset with what the employee from the power company was doing then he could have gotten his name and called and complained and settled things in a civilized appropriate manner. He deserved the consequences he received, especially having his cert pulled. Some community service and a fine would have been nice as well. If you’re going to react that way to a minor situation, which this was, you’ve got no business carrying a badge and holding a position with the amount of power we possess as LEO’s. We’re supposed to set the example, NOT be an example of stupidity.

  • zenobia says:

    Considering that a local chief of police had to be committed recently? I’d say there are a lot of cops out there with “barricades” around their homes.

  • Truth Hurts says:

    He is one of those cops who power went to his head. Glad he is not a cop anymore and hope he runs into some of those innocent people he probably offended when he is working at WAL-MART. EX COP CLOWN….

  • Guest3489 says:

    Don’t worry Reed….unemployment is NOT in your future. You can become a private investigator….seems to be what a lot of ex deputies are doing.

  • Guest123123 says:

    That conviction would probably keep him from obtaining a license from PPSB. Even if he manages to get a license he would not know the first thing about conducting an investigation.If he was working in the jail or a road deputy he would not even qualify for a full license and would have to work as an associate under someones else’s license. You need to have 3000 investigative hours to qualify for a full PI license. Remember a good private investigator does the same type of work as as any detective. You are just doing it for the defense instead of the prosecution.

  • He was only punished with 12 months probation ??? Seriously??
    If that were a civilian , we would get a thousand dollar fine, 48 hours of community service, intense probation, anger management classes, 180 days suspended sentence, and probably somehow manage to take our drivers license, (which seems to be the going thing these days). What a lucky guy!!!

  • Guest2020 says:

    He got what anyone else would have, if not more.

  • tke1 says:

    This guy is a hot headed fool. He got his electricity back on but now he is out of a career that he worked and trained to get and to keep. His retirement is gone. I hope he has some other job skills. Now with the assault on his record he will struggle to get a job that will provide a living. Time to pay the piper.

  • Jacobs' Ladder says:

    Any State certified officer, police, SBI, or private security doing what this officer did would and should automatically lose their certification if convicted. Any person working in law enforcement or private security that cannot control their emotions any better than Mr. Roberts should never be allowed back into law enforcement or allowed to work in private security for fear they might lose their temper and injure or kill someone without just cause. A man’s life was put in jeopardy by Mr. Roberts’s actions and that just cannot be allowed to happen again. To allow Reed Roberts to continue to bear arms as an Officer of the Law would almost certainly lead to another confrontational situation that could lead to the death of a citizen.

    People are seldom kind to officers of the law unless they are in need of help from one. Officers understand that this attitude expressed by many citizens comes with the job and are trained to expect it and respond, not react, to it with courtesy and respect whether the citizen deserves it or not. This training has diffused many potentially dangerous situations and allowed for peaceful resolutions when dealing with the public. It is obvious that the former Officer Roberts failed to discipline himself and apply his training to this situation. His lack of patience has cost him a career. The bright side to this is he is no longer in a position to afflict the public with his anger as an armed officer. I just hope he gets the help he needs before he turns on family and friends.

  • T says:

    This situation should have never happened, it’s unfortunate that the utility guy was tased and that it was done by a cop. Like someone else said, sometimes individuals that should not be cops make it and this problems arise later.

    at the same time, Its is unfortunate because if he had not been been a cop and was a regular joe with a regular job, he would not been fired or had lost his certification. It seems that they only want to make examples out of cops, specially politicians that have an agenda. Attorneys get charge with all kinds of crazy crimes all the time and they don’t loose their license to practice law. They lie the most in court, or lets just say that they don’t really want the whole truth to be known about their criminal clients. Judges? please, they are attorneys after all. County commissioners, drunks, and crazies!!

    What’s left, oh yeah, the criminals. they seem to get away with it most of the time. Probation and Parol, a joke. Criminals give them wrong addresses during visits. Some PO’s don’t really care, they are lazy. others are just idiots.

    What a joke!

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