Local News

Highway Patrol releases arrest report in mistreatment claim

Posted July 3, 2011 3:15 p.m. EDT
Updated July 4, 2011 5:20 a.m. EDT

— 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.

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.