Police Chief Pulled Over For Suspected Drinking and Driving, No - FOX 35 News Orlando

Police Chief Pulled Over For Suspected Drinking and Driving, No Arrest Made

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On March 31, Cabarrus County deputies say they received a call just before 3 p.m. about someone driving erratically. According to a report, deputies made a traffic stop along Ward Avenue, and Mt. Gilead Police Chief Cleve Willoughby was behind the wheel.

Cabarrus County Sheriff Brad Riley confirms Willoughby was driving his government-issued car. The 911 caller states, "I'd like to report a reckless driver. He possibly could be drunk. I'm not sure." As the call goes on, the dispatcher asks, "What kind of vehicle is it?" The caller responds, "Looks like a silver Crown Vic...went off the road a few times. And we were leaving Hooters, and he about pulled out in the middle of the intersection. When he had to back up, he almost backed into us."

According to the deputy's report, Willoughby submitted to a portable breath test, which registered a .05. In North Carolina, it is illegal to drive a car with an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

According to the report, Willoughby said he and his passenger were on their way back from the Veterans Hospital in Charlotte and they stopped to get something to eat and "had a couple beers with the meal."

No arrest was made, and no charges were filed. The deputy recommended Willoughby leave the car and call someone to come pick him up.

Sheriff Riley says, "We did our job." He adds that there was "no violation of the law." He says there was not enough evidence to make an arrest.

Riley adds that deputies will look into a matter when they get a complaint about possible illegal activity. He said, "It doesn't matter who you are. We're going to investigate."

Town Commissioner Tim McAuley is worried the town's reputation will suffer because of the accusations against the police chief. McAuley said, "I don't think it was well thought out. It kind of embarrassed the town, and we didn't need that kind of embarrassment." He goes on to say, "Yes. That was really bad. He could have hit somebody. We could have been sued and cost the town a lot of money."

Mt. Gilead Town Manager Katrina Tatum confirms Chief Willoughby has been suspended without pay. Town officials say there will be a meeting Tuesday night at 7:30 at the town's library to discuss the police chief's future with the town.


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