Local News

Raleigh attorney not guilty in bar fight

Posted July 7, 2011 8:02 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh attorney accusing two state Highway Patrol troopers of misconduct was found not guilty Thursday on a misdemeanor simple assault charge in a separate case.

Hoyt Gold Tessener, 50, was charged Dec. 5 following a dispute with a restaurant manager who claimed Tessener punched him over a bar tab.

Gregory Sunday, who manages The Pickled Onion Restaurant and Bar on Falls of Neuse Road, testified in a hearing that Tessener was upset over the bill and followed him into the restaurant's kitchen.

The two argued, Sunday said, and Tessener hit him in the face, breaking his glasses and giving him a black eye.

Tessener, however, testified that Sunday punched him first and that he hit back out of self-defense.

District Judge Jane Gray found Tessener not guilty, saying she couldn't determine beyond a reasonable doubt who started the fight.

Hoyt Tessener wrote a letter to the governor and two dozen other state officials last month, alleging that a state trooper intimidated and harassed his wife during a traffic stop in Wilmington.

Two troopers are on administrative duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Tessener said Thursday that he is glad the troopers are off the roads and that the allegations are being investigated.