Raleigh, N.C. — A former North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper exhibited a pattern of sexual misconduct while on duty, sources told WRAL News.
Larry B. Lovick, 31, resigned Monday, the same day that Highway Patrol Col. Randy Glover requested a state investigation into Lovick's conduct.
In a letter to State Bureau of Investigation Director Robin Pendergraft, Glover said someone notified the patrol that a trooper "engaged in an inappropriate and unlawful conduct during a traffic stop on May 24." A preliminary investigation by the patrol and Raleigh police identified the trooper as Lovick.
Sources told WRAL News that Lovick put a young woman suspected of underage drinking in his patrol car and that the woman claimed that he convinced her to remove her top, handcuffed her, exposed himself and later drove her around in his patrol car.
WRAL News has learned of several women who tell similar, disturbing stories. Each alleges that, during a traffic stop, Lovick ordered them into his car and exposed himself. The accusations span a year’s time.
"We're working closely with the SBI on this, and we'll work with them on any information we receive from the public," Highway Patrol spokesman Maj. Everett Clendenin said.
Lovick, who had been with the Highway Patrol since June 2004 and was assigned to Troop C in Wake County, said Wednesday he has "been done wrong," but he declined to comment on specific allegations.
He said he resigned because he thought he was about to be fired, and he wanted to protect his wife and children from the accusations.
"What's unfortunate about it is that small percentage – that half of 1 percent – cause us to have to get in front of the TV camera and try to justify what the others are doing," Clendenin said. "It's unfortunate. It's an embarrassment to this organization."
A series of misconduct cases involving troopers has rocked the Highway Patrol's image over the past several years.
A number of troopers and officers have been disciplined or fired for offenses that included profiling young women for traffic stops, drunken driving, animal abuse and having sex on duty.
“I hold our troopers to the highest standards, and I have zero tolerance for anything less," Glover said in a statement Thursday. "We will continue to work hard to maintain the public’s trust.”