Trooper gets four-day suspension

Troopers Andrew Smith and Edward Wyrick

July 13, 2011 6:11:30 PM PDT
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Wednesday that one of two troopers involved in an incident with the wife of a Raleigh attorney has been given a four-day suspension without pay as punishment.

Trooper Andrew Smith will begin serving the suspension immediately.

The suspension comes after an internal investigation that concluded Smith's behavior was unprofessional and violated the Highway Patrol's conduct policy.

The investigation began after the Highway Patrol received a letter of complaint from Hoyt Tessener, a Raleigh lawyer, alleging misconduct by Trooper Edward Wyrick during a traffic stop of his wife, Gina Tessener.

The Tesseners said Wyrick was bullying and overly aggressive.

During their investigation, the Highway Patrol released text messages exchanged between Trooper Smith and Trooper Wyrick in reference to pulling over Gina Tessener.

The Tesseners, who are from Raleigh, were in Wilmington on June 22 attending an event.

Trooper Wyrick says he stopped Gina for a broken headlight, however, smelled alcohol on her and asked her to complete a field sobriety test, but she refused.

"This woman refused all roadside testing, and blew .00," Wyrick wrote in a text to Smith. "Her husband is a trial lawyer and told me I should be ashamed of myself."

Smith responded: "Hahahaha f--- her and f--- him. She say how much she'd had to drink?"

"She said 1 drink at 7pm," Wyrick wrote back.

"F--- her," Smith responded.

After reviewing the case, the Highway Patrol said Trooper Wyrick was justified in pulling over Gina Tessener and had probable cause for a DWI arrest. Wyrick is back on patrol.

The Tesseners have not responded to ABC11's repeated attempts for their comment on Smith's suspension.

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