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FIRST ON 3: Witnesses accuse state senator of hit and run


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Witnesses say a state senator was behind the wheel of a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run accident in downtown Wilmington last night.

The crew of a movie shooting on Princess Street says they saw Sen. Bill Rabon (R-8th District) drive off after hitting a parked car in a parking lot at 2nd and Princess, but the senator says he had no idea.

A witness, who did not want to go on camera, says he saw a man in a white GMC Sierra hit another car before trying to take off. The man says he stepped in to see if the driver was OK and to make sure he would "do the right thing," but he was surprised when the driver instead drove off and never returned."

The witness told officers the driver was Sen. Rabon. He says Rabon told him he would make it right before leaving.

The general manager of The Greeks restaurant next door says he and his staff were finishing up a meeting when they heard the commotion.

"We heard a big sound. We were back here in the parking lot, so we didn't think much of it, and we run out here and we just saw a white truck, like a GMC Sierra basically almost peeling out of here," Yanni Papanikoulaou said.

Rabon, a self-proclaimed bad driver, says he thinks he had a few drinks with Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-18th District) after Sunday afternoon's film rally, but he says he was not impaired when he got in his car to drive home.

Rabon, who admits he has trouble hearing, says he thought the person who walked up to him was directing traffic and asked if he was turning right. He says if he hit a car, he had no idea, but would be more than happy to pay for any damage he may have caused.

Wilmington police say they are investigating but have not identified the driver yet. They say the car involved in the accident is a white GMC Sierra registered to Rabon.

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.


Mr perfect?

If that had been any of us, we would have been arrested for hit and run, and dui.
And no, you do not have to been seen by anyone drinking and driving to be charged for DUI, nor do you have to be in your vehicle.
Police in the state of NC, need only reasonable suspicion, that you were drinking and driving, to charge and convict on a DUI.
This senator states he had a 'few' drinks, then witnesses say he hit a vehicle then fled the scene of an accident?
Why is this man above the law? If anything he should be held to higher standards, as a representative of the people!
Why is it fair that the normal citizen should be charged, but Mr. Senator here, has not been charged? He should be the one setting the standard, not the one that's getting away with crimes just because he is a self-proclaimed bad driver.. That's absurd.

controlled media sugar coats the law

I am equally amazed at the coverage this incident received in the Star News! Totally different story. I wonder who paid off the Star to write their sugar coated little story. If you want to get the REAL FACTS, it seems you will have to go to WWAY NEWS. They are the only outlet who had the guts to report the facts in this story. They have not been bought out. Thank you WWAY for trying to educate the public. It is tough in an area with controlled media.


It figures.
They go to a "rally" that shows how LITTLE film supporters care.
They get disappointed by the limited turnout and what do the politicians do?
They do what everyone does down town.
they get all liquored up.
Republican and Democrats - males and female.
Rabon was stupid enough to whack another vehicle.
Susie did the Democratic thing and crawled home.
Mayor 'Poofy Do probably drove 'cause he is the Mayor.

Why does NONE of this surprise me??


film crew saw Rabon's DMV Senate license tag. set up?

The film crew were there filming while a film protest against Politicians voting about film incentives was going on, something sounds fishy about whether that yellow car tapped into Rabons truck as a set up. All these witnesses suddenly sounds fishy too, the Greeks restaurant is close chums with the film people. Rabon's truck was there unattended in the film crews reach for hours, none of this makes sense.

Bill Rabon

Let me get this straight....Senator Rabon was drinking, left the bar, hits a car, leaves the scene of the accident ???? WOW !
SHAME, SHAME, SHAME Senator,Dr. Rabon. The high school and college
students are looking at this. You are suppose to lead by example,
not go from one embarrassing incident to another.

The puppy mills, leaving the scene of an accident WHAT IS NEXT, SURELY

well, sounds like to me he

well, sounds like to me he is a DINO. sure has put the spin on his story, spin= LIES!! he should be charged like anyone else and Saffo, or SNAFU should be called in to be disposed and tell all he knows and anyone else with the LIAR that night!


Sounds just like a Republican to me. Does whatever he wants and then lies or refuses to talk to cover it up. Maybe this one won't go away as easily as referring to fellow lawmakers as a bunch of PU****s in front of a group of women voters. Maybe the self-proclaimed "Most powerful State Senator" won't be able to worm his way out of this one.

"Sounds just like a

"Sounds just like a Republican to me. Does whatever he wants and then lies or refuses to talk to cover it up." Sounds more like a Dem to me; that was sure what Bill Clinton did about Monica!

Sounds like a Republican,

Sounds like a Republican, huh?? If the senator is guilty of this minor accident and leaving the scene he must have learned that trick from "the Lion of the Senate" Ted Kennedy (DEMOCRAT-MASS) who was drunk, ran off a bridge into a creek, drowning his female "companion" and leaving her in the bottom of the creek until Teddy felt politically safe enough to report the accident the next day. He never checked to see if Mary Jo had survived or anything until his political ducks were in order. Just in case you missed it, Kennedy was a DEMOCRAT and was the darling of the democrat party.

hippicrit libster's

I bet you anything them supposed witnesses were democrats that were paid off to try to make it look like old rabon was drunk up runnin over ppl which could not be further from the case, anytime a republican has a few brews and drives the media has a field day like when old brian burger was out partyin and got catched supposedly drunk up, but u know if it was a libber dumbocrat that them media ppl wouldn't say nothing abot it and say he was a good boy and hims didn't do nothin wrong which hereby shows the slanderouse nature of them libelouse libber dingbats!!!

I bet those hippies crashed

I bet those hippies crashed his GMC Sierra into a parked car and THEN put the Senator behind the wheel. Any more "he's a victim of the liberal agenda" theories? Seriously, the man left the scene because he knew he would likely blow DUI levels. There is only one thing politicians are good at, covering their backside.

Burgerboy's rant

I'm not sure what is more stupid; your post or.....just you.


Rep Hamilton lives downtown and walks everywhere. I saw her walking home Sunday night around 8:30 with her family.

He Makes Us All So Proud!

Let me think about this one....can't see, can't hear, can't drive, can't feel collision impact, don't know if he had too many drinks, and responded to bystander intervention to help by fleeing the scene. Perhaps either his brain was impaired or he actually lacks one as appears validated from his incredibly stupid story line. Yup! Sounds like Bill Rabon to me.

has anyone confirmed this

has anyone confirmed this with wilmington's mayor snafu? curious to hear what he "thinks".....

Ignorance is no excuse. He

Ignorance is no excuse. He should be charged for fleeing the scene of the accident. If it takes charges that the common man would receive to teach him he is reckless and needs to stay off the roads then so be it, that is what the law is there for.


Anyone who has been involved in even the most minor collision knows that two things are certain. It makes a loud noise and there is an unavoidable sensation of the impact. Witnesses to the latest Bill Rabon debacle were alerted to the incident by the sound of the collision. Yet Mr. Rabon claims he was completely unaware it took place. He also claims that he was not impaired at the time. If either of those statements is true I find it very difficult to believe the other. His actions immediately afterward, fleeing the scene, cast even more doubt on his version of the story. Only one person knows the whole truth about what happened in that parking lot but given Mr. Rabon's obvious contempt for his constituents we are not likely to ever hear it.


So we have determined that Bill Rabon was driving but if that was the case and he was drinking with Saffo and Hamilton, couldn't that mean that there were 3 drunk elected officials behind the wheel that night. It's alright though folks, Saffo will use his political clout in order to sweep this under the rug.

No, it doesn't have to mean

No, it doesn't have to mean that there were 3 drunk elected officials behind the wheel that night, it simply means the other two were probably smart enough to take a taxi, but I almost forgot, senator Rabon is a republican.

Rabid Rabon

Maybe. But we do know only one left the scene of an accident

CORRECTION! he is only a

CORRECTION! he is only a "republican" in name, all his ctions and votes suggest he is a far left leaning liberal!

Endorsed by MADD

He was endorsed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving last year for being "a champion" in the fight against drunk driving. Yes, politicians are humans and make mistakes but this sort of hypocrisy and double standard is the reason why we have so little faith in those in public office. He needs to be held to the same standard and accountability as the rest of us.

book him

WILMINGTON P.D will do as all good little puppy dogs do and listen to there bosses and do nothing at all. Anyone else in Wilmington would have been charged already, but the bosses say no this time. Good little doggie, let me get you a bone

Sen. Rabon, when you get to

Sen. Rabon, when you get to the point when you don't know if you hit another car or not you've probably had more than a few's very telling when you have to say "I think" I had a "few drinks" but listen folks, we can rest easy because nothing is going to happen to the senator, it's too late for a breathalyzer test now so he is home free, maybe a small fine but that's about it....again, this guy is a state senator, that alone will get him off the hook but it wouldn't get the average hardworking taxpayer like me or you off the hook.

Sen. Rabon

I have known Senator or Dr. Bill as all call him, he is very hard of hearing, I can objectively look at this and opine 1)Someone approaching and asking are you all right and Sen. Rabon thinking are you turning right? 2)I question the validity of the café worker hearing a big boom when only 200.00 dollars worth of damage to the vehicle happened. Not plausible 3)if you ate something and had a drink or two this does NOT automatically render you intoxicated. If you do not know you hit something then you don't know. This isn't the end of the world. Pay the damages if any and get on with it. Do not make a mountain out of a mole hill. End of story. I have seen older people hit things and not know it. Looks like some bi-partisanship is going on, another crime? I am sure the receipts will be well scrutinized before it is over, I doubt the people paid for it. But get a subpoena and investigate the receipt. Me, I have bigger fish to fry.


You must be in his pocket. He knew.

Where does it say $200.00 in

Where does it say $200.00 in the article?


That is the damage amount that was reported on the TV news when this story was reported.

Dr. Bill

Wow, you don't sound very objective.The man admitted to having a few drinks. I question the validity of your statement, sounds like in your eyes Dr. Bill can do know wrong. Be thankful he didn't harm anyone, every one should be held accountable for their actions,Dr. Bill included. Shame on you for being a cheerleader for his actions

Few drinks, bad memory, bad hearing, self professed 3rd in power

Hmm...interesting chain of events, guess John Q public would have already been charged, arrested, and in an orange jump suit for hit and run along with fleeing scene of an accident. Then again John Q public isn't responsible for making laws in NC with such a bad memory, hearing deficits that don't allow you to hear someone face to face, and having a few under his belt before getting behind a wheel. Wonder how that combo works for him when the Senate is convening to vote for laws that affect John Q Public? Should someone remind him he's a vet and opposed SB930, the Puppy Mill Bill that passed the House with flying colors? Perhaps he couldn't hear or remember that huge bust in his own County? Should he be reminded of those issues he's opposed that have environmentalist, education supporters, and equal rights picket supporters lines in front of his office regularly? Fortunately Brunswick County has an Senate opponent running for office who is invested in the betterment of our State with good hearing, good memory, and a sober conscious.