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Berger served with protective order from ex-girlfriend, due in court next week

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies served New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger with a protective order a short time after his Thursday evening news conference in which Berger refused the request from his fellow commissioners to resign.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer says the 10-day protective order was filed by Berger's ex-girlfriend Heather Blaylock.

Brewer says Berger and Blaylock must appear in court September 16 to tell their sides of the story to a judge. At that point the judge would decide whether to extend the order for one year or immediately dismiss it.

During his news conference, Berger said he has no history of violence and that violence is "not my style." Berger said he was insulted by comments made by County Commission Chair Jonathan Barfield about concerns about safety from Berger.

Wilmington Police officers said they explained the protective order process to Blaylock Friday night after they responded to her home after a third party called 911 to report an altercation between Blaylock and Berger. The couple had reportedly met at Independence Mall to discuss their issues when Berger reportedly became upset. Blaylock let Berger follow her home, where officers met them. At the time, Blaylock declined to file a protective order and Berger was not charged with any crime.

That incident came just four nights after another incident that put the relationship between Berger and Blaylock back into the spotlight. Blaylock called 911 late on August 29 to report Berger may try to hurt himself at his home. Blaylock reportedly received numerous text messages and calls from Berger that evening in which he appeared to threaten to kill himself. Police released a photo Blaylock said Berger sent to her phone that allegedly shows his arm cut and bleeding. Police also seized a rifle and ammunition from Berger's home. As of late Thursday afternoon, Berger had not yet gone to the police department to get the rifle back, according to a police spokeswoman.

Wilmington Police also arrested Berger in June after another incident between him and Blaylock. Berger was charged with assault on a female after Blaylock said she felt unsafe and accused Berger of ripping a door handle off her car as she tried to drive away from his home. Blaylock later said the incident was blown out of proportion, and the District Attorney's Office eventually dropped the charges.

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