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Highway Patrol releases arrest report in mistreatment claim

Posted July 3, 2011
Updated July 4, 2011

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— A trooper accused of mistreating a Raleigh woman acknowledges that tests showed she had no alcohol in her system and denies allegations that he had another trooper stop her husband, in an arrest report released Sunday by the state Highway Patrol.

Hoyt Tessener sent a letter last week to Gov. Bev Perdue and more than two dozen other state and local officials claiming that his wife, Gina Tessener, was mistreated during a traffic stop in Wilmington on June 21.

Senior Trooper Edward Wyrick wrote in the report that he pulled Gina Tessener over around 10:45 p.m. because her driver's side headlight was not working. He stated that he smelled "a moderate odor of an alcoholic beverage" on her breath and that she was "slightly unsteady on her feet."

Gina Tessener told him that she had had just a few sips from a glass of wine four hours earlier, Wyrick wrote.

Gina Tessener told WRAL News that she didn't feel comfortable doing a field sobriety test without a witness because Wyrick insisted that he smelled alcohol when she hadn't been drinking.

She was also wearing high heels and an evening dress and the road was covered in gravel, according to her husband's letter.

Wyrick's report states that she registered a 0.00 reading on two separate alcohol breath tests, which Gina Tessener had earlier told the media.

Highway Patrol releases arrest report Highway Patrol releases arrest report in mistreatment claim

The Tesseners claim that Wyrick conspired with Trooper Andrew Smith to stop Hoyt Tessener while he followed Wyrick and his wife to the jail.

The Tesseners' letter claims that Wyrick was texting on his phone shortly before Smith stopped Hoyt Tessener and told her, "Looks like your husband is getting pulled over."

According to the letter, she asked him, "Did you set him up?" and Wyrick said, "I resent you making that remark, and for that, I am not going to speak with you anymore tonight." She claims that he later talked to another man on a two-way radio and that man said "I let him go," upsetting Wyrick.

Wyrick denied those allegations in a note on the report.

"I never made contact with Trooper Smith while en route to the jail until after I verified he stopped her husband," he wrote. He acknowledges that she asked him if he set up her husband but doesn't record his response.

Wyrick writes that Gina Tessener was "polite and cooperative" but records two incidents with her husband.

He writes that first question Hoyt Tessener asked his wife was, "Did he touch you?" and also that "after she blew .00, he told me I should be ashamed."

Wyrick and Smith have been placed on administrative duty while the Highway Patrol conducts an internal investigation.

Neither of the Tesseners received citations.

254 Comments

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  • beachesnc Jul 11, 2011

    gbarb check the information now. The headlight was out and fixed AFTER the stop, proven. There is your cause not a gut feeling.

  • break on through Jul 8, 2011

    If an officer stops a murderer with a headlight out we all applaud and say job well done. If an officer stops an attorney's wife for a headlight out we stomp our feet, pout, and write letters complaining to all those we know in power. I guess the trooper's crystal ball must have lost power due to budget cuts. Otherwise, he would have know she was not wanted, drunk and that she was an attorney's wife. Just think how much trouble a visit to the fortune teller would have saved those troopers that night.

  • gbarb43 Jul 7, 2011

    red herring. your comment was the officer made a valid stop. i disagree.she wasnt speeding ,or weaving,or crossing center line,so what part of the stop was valid? was it the headlight that wasnt out? I think it reads more like its late.the lady was dressed nice and he assumed she must be returning from a party, so i will stop her and that will give me a chance to make an arrest or at least some info about her. Face it Wyrick, screwed up or do u condone stopping law abiding citizens an a gut feeling. well probably u do, he should have been looking for a real drunk, he had no probable cause

  • reddherring94 Jul 6, 2011

    Ok, I'm sure there's gonna be some know-it-all to write a comment to mine but, I don't care...You're all ignorant. The Trooper, under NC law made a valid stop. Whether or not you know it, your signature on your license implies that you will take any and all chemical tests when suspected of DWI (no dui in nc..) when she refused to do ANY tests along the road, the Trooper had no recourse but, to require a breath test "downtown" and that's what he did. Just because some whiny lawyer thinks his wife can do no wrong, is no excuse to let her go.. Had she been over the limit, and killed YOUR family, you would be screaming for vengeance. Then Mr. Hoytier than thou (not a typo) claims the Trooper mistreated his poor little drinking wife (un truthful too). The LAW also requires a MAGISTRATE to release someone that has been arrested. It's YOUR law, YOU voted on it! What, pray tell, was the time between the arrest and the first "blow"? alot rides on that...Why didn't she take the portable breath t

  • str8thuggin Jul 5, 2011

    Sounds like a jealous husband to me. Hope he cuts his own grass or else the lawn boy is gonna be next.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jul 5, 2011

    She blew a 0.00.

    The overzealous trooper should not have arrested her.

    A crime didn't exist until the trooper arrested her for a crime that didn't exist.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jul 5, 2011

    Based on the comments to this article I'm confused.

    From what I'm reading in these comments, if an officer pulls me over for a DUI and I'm not legally drunk, I have to go in front of a magistrate to be released by the officer for a crime that I didn't commit.

    What happened until innocent until proven guilty.

  • lucky22 Jul 5, 2011

    I just don't see this couple making up this story. If the Trooper's are guilty of their conduct then they deserve to be kicked off the force. We'll see how it all turn's out.

  • Avenger Jul 5, 2011

    It never ceases to amaze me how little the average person knows about their state's laws and what is required by a LEO to enforce them.

  • abylelab -BT- Jul 5, 2011

    so far, the two sides:
    lawyers side: an overly embellished interpretation of the actions of the trooper.
    trooper's side: a horribly edited video just to show the trooper in a good light.

    in the end, though, she wasn't drinking (blew 0's twice), and she shouldn't have been arrested, because if you read the driving manual and the DUI laws, it explicitly says it is not a crime nor arrest-able offense to choose to have the BAC tests done by a qualified individual.

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