3 Wake Deputies Resign Amid Assault Investigation
Posted September 13, 2006 9:05 a.m. EDT
Updated December 31, 2006 10:26 a.m. EST
Deputies Chris Roth, Katie Broda and Kevin Hinton, of their own volition, submitted their resignations to Harrison on Wednesday, he said. One is effective immediately; the other two are effective Friday.
The alleged incident happened outside Applebee's on Aug. 26. Robert Wise, of Garner, said he, his wife and 11-year-old daughter were leaving the restaurant when a man came up to their car window, yelling at them about taking up two parking spaces.
Wise said the man didn't identify himself as a law enforcement officer and tried to pull Wise out of the car. He said he was beaten, sprayed with pepper spray and handcuffed, and needed to be taken to a local hospital for treatment.
"I would like to tell Mr. Wise and his family that I apologize for this incident, and we're going to move forward," said Harrison on Wednesday.
However, Wise said that the resignations are only the beginning of what he said should happen to the former deputies.
"The fact that they resigned is of no consequence to us," he said. "They need to be tried as criminals that they are, and they need to go to jail."
Wise also said that the alleged beating in front of his family has had a continuing effect on his children.
"My daughter is 11 years old, and just the other day, she was in the car with her mother," he said. "A police car drove by, and she said, 'Mommy, are they going to take us out of the car and beat us like they did Daddy?'"
Harrison said that he in no way condoned the officers' alleged actions, but said that they had made a mistake.
"This was something that just happened," he said. "We're human beings. We make mistakes; and we're going to learn from these mistakes and keep going."
Prior to the accusations, Harrison said, the deputies involved had exemplary performance records and never had any problems.
"I do want the citizens of this county to know, and the employees of this sheriff's office to know, that I will not tolerate any unprofessional conduct in this office," Harrison said.
The State Bureau of Investigation and the Wake County district attorney's office are investigating the case at Harrison's request. District Attorney Colon Willoughby said it could be several weeks before he receives the SBI's report and decides whether to file criminal charges in the case.
Roth had been with the sheriff's department for nine years, Hinton for seven and Broda for five, Harrison said.
When asked if an apology from the former deputies themselves would make a difference to him, Wise said, "The question would be, would they mean the apology? Or will it be something they just did as formality?"
Despite his recent troubles, Wise said he knows that there will eventually be a positive outcome.
"The Bible says we know that all things work together for the good," he said. "So, there's some good that's going to come out of this."