Local News

Recordings: Officers suspected trooper was driving drunk

Posted April 23, 2010 1:40 p.m. EDT
Updated April 24, 2010 6:54 a.m. EDT

— 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.