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Recordings: Officers suspected trooper was driving drunk

Posted April 23, 2010
Updated April 24, 2010

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— Information made public Friday by the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety offers some details about a state investigation involving a Highway Patrol captain.

Citing state personnel laws, Ernie Seneca, a spokesman for the Crime Control and Public Safety, could not say why Capt. James Williams Jr., 46, was placed on administrative leave this week.

But a Butner police incident report and police-radio traffic recordings indicate that an officer stopped Williams at 1:50 a.m. on April 3 for suspected drunken driving.

"I need you to call Maj. (A. W.) Moss's home number," the officer tells the radio dispatcher in the recording. "Advise him that I have a trooper stopped. He is a captain with the Highway Patrol, and he is extremely 10-55."

The code 10-55, according to the report, indicates an intoxicated driver. No action was taken against the driver.

Instead, according to the calls, officers dropped Williams off at a Best Western motel.

About 40 minutes later, at 2:32 a.m., Butner dispatch receives a phone call from a motel employee asking that someone return for him.

"Uh, I need him to come back and pick him up and probably take him to the station to wait for his ride," the caller says.

Seneca had no comment on the report or the phone calls but said the two Butner public safety officers involved in the stop – identified as Lt. Daniel Parrott and Capt. Walter Williams – have also been suspended with pay. He said the state's investigation should be completed within a few more weeks.

Chrissy Pearson, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bev Perdue, said the allegations are being taken seriously.

The Highway Patrol hired Williams in 1988. He is the commander of Troop C, which patrols a 12-county area that includes Wake, Durham and Granville counties.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • ladyblue Apr 23, 2010

    everyone of these involved in this scandal need to be on suspension WITHOUT PAY and they need to handle this quickly..........DISGUSTING. SHAME ON ALL OF THEM..........

  • Lena Apr 23, 2010

    WRAL - i couldn't figure out what happened until i read the news and observer. here's a link to article that explains what happened.

  • capitalland Apr 23, 2010

    Its simple, NC State Troopers are above the law. They can selectively enforce the law but they don't have to abide by those same laws. I doubt any other non elected official in this state has the individual power that any trooper holds.

  • kodac31 Apr 23, 2010

    Next time anybody gets stopped: Just envoke the "CAPTAIN JAMES WILLIAMS JR. STOP STATUS"

  • kodac31 Apr 23, 2010

    I wanna know why Major MOSS, with Butner PD, has not been suspended and placed under investigation!?!?!?!?! OBVIOUSLY he was contacted to make the call as to arrest or release... and OBVIOUSLY he authorized the release... Why is it he is not being investigated?!?!?! There is WAY TO MUCH POLITICAL CORRUPTION going on here!

  • james27613 Apr 23, 2010

    Best to video tape any LEO who runs stop signs w/o lights and siren on. Send it to WRAL.

    The State of North Carolina does not recognize a citizen's arrest.

  • bluegrass Apr 23, 2010

    I don't know about the rest of you but I for one have had it with the NCHP. Arrogance by these people is unbelievable, they think themselves above the law and superior to local law enforcement. Most local enforcement secretly are discussed by them as well. We need the Governor that will fire the top Colonel and bring in some real tough leadership from outside, not another home grown inbred that will allow this situation to continue.

  • james27613 Apr 23, 2010

    One DWI will now cause the end of several LEO careers.

    How about a new law that when ANY LEO is stopped for DUI/DWI,
    the Governor is notified no matter what time of day or night
    along with SBI.

  • jeffingarner Apr 23, 2010

    Definitely racial profiling. Anyone else would have been arrested and thrown in jail. As they should be!

  • Tarheelfan13 Apr 23, 2010

    Maybe the US Attorney's office needs to investigate this incident because this is the state of North Carolina and the NC Highway Patrol basically implying that their law enforcement officers are not held to the same standard of arrest procedures and NC law as everyday other NC citizens. That is a violation of the 14th Amendment.