make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: New details on investigation in Sheriff's chopper pilot

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: New details on investigation in Sheriff's chopper pilot

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- An update to a story you saw FIRST ON 3. A New Hanover County Sheriff's lieutenant is on administrative leave after some sort of trouble this weekend. With the helicopter pilot's future up in the air, we take a closer look at Scott Gerow's tenure with the Sheriff's Office and the incident under internal investigation.

With an internal investigation underway the Sheriff's Office can't say much, but an event report from the Communications Department reveals that the incident involving Lt. Gerow may involve threats that were made. The document describes the incident as a communication of threats. Under the notes section, two lines stand out. One says, "reference to an assault," and the one below it that says, "possibly involving a deputy."

Due to the internal investigation the Sheriff's Office can't confirm nor deny the info on the document. Sheriff Ed McMahon says no criminal charges were filed, but the department is taking a closer look to see if policies were broken.

"As we looked into the complaint, the criminal part was closed," McMahon said. "Then we turned it into our internal affairs investigators, and they are currently conducting the investigation right now."

As for Gerow's history with the department, he was hired in November 2007 as the Sheriff's helicopter pilot. He makes a little more than $55,000 a year and is paid an extra $6,000 a year for housing and insuring the helicopter at his home in the Pilots Ridge community.

We reached out to Gerow by phone and at properties listed in the phone book to get his side, but we got no answer. Sheriff McMahon expects the internal investigation to wrap up fairly quickly.

As for the helicopter, the Sheriff's Office says it is grounded for now. If there's an incident where they may need it, they'll ask the Wilmington Police Department for help.

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.


If they can get rid of the

If they can get rid of the helo unit, maybe the deputies can get a raise. That Unit is a total waste of money and resources.

We'll see what happens to this angel.

The outcome of this investigation will be interesting.

It seems McMahon received a complaint that one of his Lieutenant's assaulted a 21-year old volunteer firefighter. Interestingly enough as rumor has it this assault took place in the presence of another deputy who works with Gerow - while both were on-duty. What's the status of that guy? Did he report the assault?

McMahon said "The criminal complaint was closed". Well that's an obvious finding of fact when the complaint declines criminal prosecution but it will be interesting to see the outcome.

Will McMahon brush this criminal act under the rug to save his precious helicopter pilot or will he standup for all victims of assault and punish his Lieutenant accordingly. And the other deputy, is he going to get away with witnessing a crime and not taking action?

Let's investigate further than WWAY's first report. According to an online salary database Gerow does make a little more than 50k in his lieutenant's position. As for the Helicopter, according to google records, it's kept on a piece of property owned by Port City Helicopter on a residential landing strip at Pilots Ridge. New Hanover County Tax records show this company is owned by Scott Gerow - isn't this a conflict of interest. Is the county paying the employee a salary and diverting tax money to the employee through a business that apparently doesn't have a major involvement in the community.

Personally, I've filed a report on an officer and they are rarely taken seriously, especially by the Sheriff's Office. We'll see what type of church-going man McMahon is once this is over but I'm tired of him sounding like a broken record when it comes to transparency when it's quite obvious he's not being transparent.

Good ole boy network

Yea, so much for the standard line from the sheriff's department of "Everybody starts in the jail." He has been there for 3 years and is a lieutenant? I wonder what "knob" he "polished" to a bright shine to get that....

Oh, that would also be the

Oh, that would also be the old sheriff who hired him

While I agree with your

While I agree with your comment in would be stupid and a waste of a resource to put this guy in the jail. Also, if someone comes from another department and has years of experience, it's stupid to put them in the jail.

Why don't you know? He

Why don't you know? He donated his helicopter. Here in good ole New Hanover County, you can buy your way into the Sheriff's Department!

How is this "FIRST ON 3"

How is this "FIRST ON 3" when the Star News had the full story up at 2:20 p.m. and you put up a headline and teaser at 3:41 p.m. and the full story at 5 p.m.?

Because we...

Because we broke the story first on Tuesday.

Thanks for checking!

Scott Pickey
News Director


... that Star-News is reporting that the incident was with a volunteer firefighter. Gerow was at the firefighter's house and communicated threats.
I'd be interested to know the last time that the sheriff's helo flew anyways. I haven't seen it fly in quite a few months.
And the Sheriff's Department has called the WPD before; their helo is not available very often.

However, there ought to be an investigation into the WPD's SABLE unit; there has been a lot of conflict lately. Interesting stories there...

They have to keep him now

They have to keep him now that they have the helicopter...