Local News

SBI investigates alleged trooper, cop confrontation

Posted September 2, 2009

— Rocky Mount authorities asked the State Bureau of Investigation Wednesday to investigate an alleged confrontation between a state trooper and a Rocky Mount police officer, a police department spokeswoman said.

Capt. Everett Clendenin, spokesman for the Highway Patrol, said Trooper Byron Lee Varnell, 34, was placed on administrative leave Wednesday morning.

Varnell has been a member of the patrol since 2001 and, in 2006, won the department’s Samaritan Award when he pulled a lady from the path of an approaching vehicle, possibly saving her life.

Both the Highway Patrol and Rocky Mount police declined to identify what might have caused the alleged confrontation.


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  • starshield Sep 3, 2009

    Guys, people like gandala and duright have their mids made up. All LEO's are crooked and shoot people without cause. There is nothing you can do to make them feel otherwise. Take my advice, don't waist you fingers commenting on them. They are here just to get a rise out of you. I think that they are just "touched" and I will pray for them.

  • determined2win Sep 3, 2009

    Actually - in regards to the pay that ANY State Employee gets in NC... they actually get paid through tax donations. The state of NC does NOTHING that generates a profit like a traditional business. Non-State workers get paid at their jobs based on the company's profits generated. State employees basically do a job and get an 'allowance'. The non-State employed tax payers pay into the NC pool of funds through payment of various taxes. State employees get paid out of those tax funds. And the taxes paid by State employees aren't really 'tax dollars'; they are paying their 'taxes' with the tax monies that provided their paycheck to begin with... think on that.

  • didisaythat Sep 3, 2009

    This message is to Journey and Professor and any other blogger that does not trust, like or agree with LEO's:

    I am a local LEO and I hate to see the comments you make. The only way our society is the help of citizens in the community. I got into law enforcement to help those that cannot. I am just an average officer that is just like most if not all of the people I work with. I encourage the haters to do a ride along program with the local or state agencies and see for yourself how it is out there. I am positive you will be less abusive to LEO's afterwards. We understand we are not everyones favorite people, but we need the respect of our community to do our job. I would gladly meet with anyone so you can get to know an average LEO.

  • gandalla Sep 3, 2009

    Its stupid cops like this trooper that make a bad name for the rest of them. And its stpuid overly aggressive cops like this that cause officers to get shot in the line of duty. If they just treated the public with respect and didnt push people around nobody would get hurt.

  • thepeopleschamp Sep 3, 2009

    "I pay their salary they dont pay mine!" mrduright

    Wrong again. Ever heard of capitalism? We all pay each others salary. You say that like Troopers don't pay taxes or something. Why would you not tell your profession? You are quick to sound off on someone else's job, don't dish it out of you can't take it.

  • bubbba Sep 3, 2009

    noodle you might be right about the on duty thing. This is not good. But I give this guy a second chance and some anger management first. If he screws up again get rid of him. But right now if this guy has a family and the recession, I am all for a little forgiveness. Hey I am sucker for bumbs too. I give them money and food all the time and I know I am being a fool in some eyes....But I always stop and think, that could be me out there. You never really know until you walk in someone else's shoes. This guy may having been going thru rough times and this pushed him to far. I still say give him another chance.

  • wakeconative4ever Sep 3, 2009

    I agree that the highway patrol needs to look backward rather than forward to get it right. I have lived in rural North Carolina all my life and when the local patrolman came around, you were on your best behavior because he was "the law". I think that is why people who have lived here all of their lives versus people who have moved here ( no offense to anyone) feel different about the highway patrol. It is something that is kinda hard to explain, but that is just the way that it is. With that being said, I was raised to respect ALL law officers, no matter what department they come from. I am also a wife of a career LEO. And I can tell you that all of these negative comments hurt more than help. Most of the troopers on the road are good guys and gals who just want to serve NC in the best possible way. Instead of talking about them, try to get to know them. Most aren't bad apples.

  • mrduright Sep 3, 2009


    Why is there always a need to compare what I do with what a cop does. Their job is to protect and serve mine is not. So when one or in this case mutiple LOE break the law i call them on it. I pay their salary they dont pay mine!

  • tatermommy52 Sep 3, 2009

    The highway patrol needs to look backwards to see how it was done right back in the day.

  • The Fox Sep 3, 2009

    [England doesn't have near the problems with crime the US has.]Well first the English banned guns. Crime went up and stabbing crimes skyrocketed. So they restricted knives. What next clubs?