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FIRST ON 3: Streaker at Wrightsville Beach gets tased, caught on camera

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: Streaker at Wrightsville Beach gets tased, caught on camera

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Even though it rained off and on all weekend, hundreds of visitors spent the holiday at Wrightsville beach looking to let loose. As we reported first online today, one man let it all hang out, and it cost him.

It's Wrightsville Beach's own version of the "Don't tase me, bro!" video. Matthew Pick, 23, laying in the middle of the street after being tased by Sheriff's deputies. The Greenville resident went streaking down Lumina Ave. early Sunday morning.

"I just happened to be videoing when we heard a lot of commotion, and so I always like to get good video for good memories and good stories," said Stephen Stearns, who shot the now viral video. (WARNING: There is nudity and graphic language in the video)

At first the story is simple. Naked man runs down the street, runs away from police, then he's tased. That's where the story takes a turn. Stearns's video shows a deputy trying to stop Stearns from shooting. Stearns points out that he has a legal right to shoot video on public property, but the deputy threatens to arrest him. Even though this deputy didn't know the law, Stearns was smart enough to defend his right to shoot.

"He definitely tried to intimidate me from not videotaping," Stearns said. "I took a class in high school where I was aware that I had every right to do so, but someone else might have been intimidated by the officer at that moment."

New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon said Stearns did nothing wrong. The only one who may have been out of line was the deputy in the video.

"I've had the deputy counseled," McMahon said. "I would actually encourage anyone who has a camera to shoot video, 'cause I'd like to see what happened."

But there's still one more question that remains for this soon-to-go viral video: Did deputies really have to tase the guy?

"I would think, 'Hey this worked.' This can be the perfect time to say hey the Taser worked," McMahon said. "The deputy wasn't hurt. The individual who seemed intoxicated wasn't hurt."

McMahon says no excessive force was used, and that the man refused arrest several times. So for anyone thinking about streaking the sheriffs has some good advice.

"My recommendation is to always keep your clothes on when your out in public," McMahon said.

Pick spent the night in jail. He's charged with indecent exposure and resisting arrest.

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.


Four Big Points

1. Pick was large, naked, sweaty, and drunk. Do you really think anyone could stop him? Watch a video of people trying to catch a greased pig. Now imagine its a 6'0" 225 lb pig that plays Rugby and breaks tackles for fun. You ain't stopping that easy. Nothing to grab (well one thing) and you definitely ain't holding on for long.

2. Pick is hilarious and took it in stride.
Sure he's on the ground in this one, but did you see the second video? Dude is handcuffed, wrapped in tin foil, being escorted by officers and has just been tazed. What does he do? He crip walks for the crowd. ECU + Rugby Team + Taser = Average Weekend.

3. Tons of people have streaked. Most have the common sense to not do it down a town notorious for no-nonsense cops right in front of numerous officers. They also know not to run down the middle of Lumina where you'll probably get hit by a car. Just like what happens 15 minutes later on this particular night.

4. Use of Taser = For Non-Compliance. Use of Gun = For Resisting Arrest. Or have we already forgotten about the naked man that was shot and killed in Creekwood a couple years back after he went for an officers gun. The officers certainly haven't forgotten and don't take unneccessary chances - even if the dude is completely naked.

Lets give him a break, the policeman should be fired

First off let just thank God that he was not a Black guy because he would have gotten much worst.The Police here in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, the majority that is are power hungry and scared of the public. They should not really worry about him im sure somewhere eles there was a break in or somethin way wrost than him running in the street to celebrate his birthday! Far as the policeman goes he should be fired and made an example out of for goodness sakes the guy didnt put anyone in danger and also the policeman lied about not being able to tape what was going on


How exactly would he have gotten it worse if he had been Black? Would they have then beat him in the street in front of a crowd of people with numerous mouthy college kids taking pictures and video? Or maybe take him back to the station and teach him a lesson for being Black on Wrightsville Beach which I believe is still an arrestable offense in some people's minds.

Which policeman? The one who tased him or the one who told them turn off the camera? There's at least 5 on camera through the short course of it. Did you watch the video or are you just talking out your ass about things you don't really have a clue about?

The tasing was justified. The officer telling them to turn it off or be arrested was misinformed/out of touch. There's nothing really fireable here at all. It'd be an extreme waste of money and completely out of line to let anyone involved in this go.

"Or maybe take him back to

"Or maybe take him back to the station and teach him a lesson for being Black on Wrightsville Beach which I believe is still an arrestable offense in some people's minds."

It is to some, and those 'minds' are the minds of law enforcement in Southeastern NC. If you don't think there are More than a few racist cops here in the Carolina's, well, I've got a wonderful bridge i'd like to sell you. much for that bridge?

It is obvious that some of you on here WANT to incite a "racist" attitude. For what purpose? It is this very reason that racism continues on in this world. You simply do not want it any other way. Then, you would't have anything to complain about. Then you wouldn't have an excuse for being where you are. Then you wouldn't have anyone to blame because of your lack of motivation to get ahead.

So...tell me about this "bridge" you have for sale. I'm interested and have a pocket full of money waiting for you if you can produce it. But it is extremely doubtful that you can. You are only here to stimulate anger and trouble, attempting to make people irritated inside as you obviously are. Whatever "race" you happen to be a part of, I'm sure they have pity on you and are well ashamed.

once upon a time...

....there was a district attorney in a sports bar in Wrightsville Beach that used the "N" word and had to resign as was reported here on WWAY and other news media across our state. My point; s**t happens huh.

With everything we're living with,

it's too bad people couldn't just laugh this off. It was just a goofy college kid acting just like that, a goofy college kid. Not really hurting anybody, no motor vehicle used, no property damage. Don't we have enough truely bad things in our lives than to make something so silly a full blown criminal act. It's too bad good sense has become such an endangered species. I hope someday soon we can get over this generation of outrage.

Best Course of Action!

Above is the first link I came to, but there are plenty of others out there on just that story. Hands on with a naked guy spells trouble..for everyone......period. First off you don't know if alcohol is the only thing he's on, as was the case above. Second, has anyone ever tried wrestling a sweaty naked person and getting them in cuffs, let alone it being a male with this guys size....probably not except for some law enforcement. Third, unless you were there and saw it first hand, you're only getting the after effects of something that went on for much longer. best course of action for the incident. No one got hurt and everyone got to see some of it so they could be armchair quarterbacks

Tasering a Naked Man?

I will never understand why a police officer or a sheriff's deputy needs to taser a naked man who, in addition, is drunk. Likely a hand on his shoulder would have knocked the streaker down. Of course, a man with a "weapon" (the sheriff's deputy) must feel so macho when using it regardless of the danger.

I wish taswers were never invented, and I also wish that they would be banned.

You don't understand why?

You don't understand why? I'll tell you why. Just because people have been drinking doesn't mean they are harmless. They can be some of the most dangerous people law enforcement can encounter, becasue their judgement, decision making, and other mental faculites are affected. Drunk people are just as dangerous if not more than anyone else. Tasers are "less than lethal" weapons. They are meant to be used to minimize permanent injury to the good guys and they bad guys, which is exactly what happened in this case. I am willing to bet based on your post that you also have a criminal record, but I'm going to give you teh benefit of the doubt, which is why I'm taking the time to explain this to you.

The drunk naked guy played

The drunk naked guy played football for ECU. He was ignoring the deputy's commands to stop, which is resisting arrest. Before he was cut from the team, I think he was listed at 6'2", and something like 225 lbs. Why would a cop try to wrestle a drunken athlete to the ground where both of them could have been hurt, when he could tase the guy and end the resistance in an instant?

A taser isn't meant only for use on a suspect with a weapon. If you refuse to comply with an officer's commands when he is trying to arrest you, it is used to force compliance, just like pepper spray. In the old days, they would have just hit the guy with a nightstick. The taser is a much safer alternative for everyone.


Yea let's ban tasers and go back to regular old firefights! That's a great idea "genus". I have an idea let's ask the guy. Hey buddy! You rather get tased or shot!? Please.....

He's cute

Wish I'd have seen that!

Do you realize how many lives tasers have saved?

Twenty years ago, the standard response to a suspect armed with a knife was to draw your piece and place two rounds into his solar plexus, usually killing him. Ditto for assailants armed steel bars, tire irons, bricks, or anything else that could kill or seriously injure an officer.

Now, these people are normally tazed if the officer is carrying a Taser.

Police officers are under no obligation to risk injury while wrestling around with a drunken suspect trying to avaoid arrest. You have obviously never had to deal with a large, belligerant drunk, so you're entitled to your naive, pollyanna view.


I'm not a pollyanna, and haven't been naive about most subjects since 1955. The man was weapon, no pockets, nothing between him and the pavement. Better judgment is necessary in our police/sheriff.

See if you can arrange a ride-along

Let's see how well you do trying to restrain a drunk who doesn't want to go to jail.

Until you've been there, done it, and been bloodied, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. We do not hire law enforcement officers to get into fist-fights. We hire them to enforce the law, and that's exactly what was done.

No right to break the law, whiners

First fact: Public nudity is against the North Carolina General Statutes.

Second fact: He was therefore committing a misdemeanor in the presence of a law enforcement officer, making him subject to arrest. It doesn't matter if it's speeding, littering, or streaking. The officer has an obligation to stop the crime.

Third fact: The officer is allowed to use the force necessary to affect the aprehension. Using a taser does not constitute deadly force. One whiner asked, "What if he had hit his head and died?" Well, Einstein, how would that be any different if the officer had tackled him and the suspect hit his head and died?

The officer had a sworn duty to stop the crime taking place. He used the amount of force he deemed necessary.

What you (presumable young) people defending this jerk don't understand is a basic life lesson you really do need to learn: When you act like an ***hole, don't complain when you are treated like an ***hole.

The cops did exactly what they should have. They apprehended a criminal and stopped a crime in progress. My only regret is that they weren't equipped with one of those experimental glue guns that shoot incredibly sticky foam and literally glue the suspect into a state of immobility. The depilitory effects of removing the glue would have given Mister Natural something to remember for the rest of his life.

One Word...

Wait for it.... LEGENDARY!


STOP posting and fraternizing on this topic or you will be TAZED! Especially if you're sitting naked at your computer!!

Being tasered was better

Being tasered was better than the alternative...getting hit by a car and killed.

Some of you are still

Some of you are still missing the point. Streaking is not a new thing. It happens at the beach, college, soccer games, ball games and such. The "streaker" has always been chased down by police and arrested. This is the first time I have ever heard of a tazer being used unless the officer felt he or someone else was in danger and used it instead of mace or his gun. Don't say he was a distraction, as there are plenty of them on WB that do not get tazed or arrested. I feel it was a little excessive. Guess the cops are not in the physical shape and don't enjoy a good foot chase like they used to.

After most foot chases there

After most foot chases there is a fight to subdue the suspect. There is a higher risk of injury to both Deputy and suspect during a fight than by using a taser. A taser lasts 5 seconds and then it's over, there are a number of injuries that could come out of a fight depending on how bad it gets. Don't get me wrong, the 5 seconds of the taser are the most intense 5 seconds of pain that you will ever feel. 99% of the time the suspect is VERY compliant after one application of the taser. The taser is a great tool to prevent injury to officer's and suspects. Do some research and see what you can find on how many lives the taser has saved (by officers using a taser on someone rather than a gun when a gun would have been justified). I would be happy to debate this with you if you still disagree.

334, I have to disagree with

334, I have to disagree with you. Nobody was in danger here. By the looks of the guy's face on the news last night, his face got pretty well beaten up I assume from his fall (like to think it was the fall). Why not just follow him and let him tire and arrest him. If he were a robber, molester, rapist, murderer, or whatever, something serious, then use necessary force. We're not talking about useing a gun on a streaker and I hope this didn't cross any of the officer's minds. I just think it could have been handled a lot better. If he was caught and resisted, then use the tazer. He was not even given the opportunity to choose whether to comply or resist, as far as I can tell. Maybe somebody that witnessed the entire incident could tell us. Of course the moron cop argueing with the guy with the phone is definitely over the top as far as common sense goes. He shouldn't even wear the uniform.

I think the kid made his

I think the kid made his choice pretty clear whether he was going to "comply or resist" when he ran. I've never really thought of running away as complying with LEO unless they said to run. As far as the "moron cop", I hop you remember that comment when you need one. And one last thing...The marks on his face were a moustache that was drawn on with a sharpie marker...Looks like he was in a fine position to make good choices.

What this streaker did is

What this streaker did is put everyone in danger...he caused a mass gathering of drunks that were spililng out of the bars and into the streets where it would have been easy for somone to get hit by a car or even cause fights from people getting knocked over.

Sometimes you have to think out of that little box of yours and see things for what they really are.

By the Way

By the way, if you recall 2 people did get hit by a car that same night, just down the road.
A gentleman was drunk and texting (probably a text to his buddies about how this guy was in the road naked) and ran into a male and female putting both in the of which is still there.
Should the naked guy be held responsible????

I agree with you about the

I agree with you about the cop arguing with him. However, he was resisting arrest after he continued to run from the officer after being told to stop.

How is the old guy

That old cop is a disgrace to the uniform....

Disgrace to the uniform!

I agree with Guest2323, this officer is a disgrace and should be MORE than counseled, he should be DISMISSED.

back to nature

doesn't anyone remember the 60's & 70's. man there were people streaking all the time and nobody made too much of a big deal about it. i've done it, Ray Stevens wrote a song about it and everyone that got into that genre of music loved it. peace man !