A Wrightsville Beach Police patrol officer noticed a car leaving downtown Wrightsville Beach and traveling faster than the posted speed. The officer pulled out but left distance from the vehicle around 2:25 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15. The vehicle, driven by 20-year-old Russell Tatum, turned into the Banks Channel Pub and Grille parking lot so the officer kept going but soon turned around and noticed the car was traveling on Causeway Drive again.
The officer followed the car west of the Heide Trask Drawbridge, observed the vehicle swerving just west of the bridge and initiated a traffic stop.
When approaching the open window the officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol and initiated a field sobriety test during which Tatum registered a blood alcohol concentration of .21 percent.
Scotchman employee plays odds, loses
The manager of the Scotchman convenience store near the corner of Wrightsville Avenue and Eastwood Road noticed the transaction list and money till were off when checking the register around 2:32 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15. The missing transactions were supposed to be paid by checks and the manager could not find any checks, even after checking the trash. However, the manager did find around four unscratched lottery tickets in the trashcan.
After watching the surveillance tapes, the manager and Wrightsville Beach Police later discovered an employee, 22-year-old Brandy Foster, scanned the lottery tickets to check if they were winners. The tickets Foster scanned accumulated total winnings of $50, which accounted for the missing amount from the register.
Waterway aggravated assault
A man called Wrightsville Beach Police Department to report his wife was sexually assaulted around 3:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, after another man invited the couple on board his vessel, which was docked in Banks Channel near the Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
The husband said after he went up to the deck to smoke a cigarette the owner of the vessel reached under his wife’s dress.
The alleged offender remains unidentified at press time.
Two hit and runs, and a DWI
Wrightsville Beach Police received a call about a hit and run near the Oceanic Restaurant around 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, when the victim reported a light blue or gray older model Toyota Camry ran into a truck parked on South Lumina Avenue hard enough to knock it out of its parking space.
The offending vehicle, later found to be driven by 27-year-old Francis Gannon of Demorris, Ga., then traveled further north on South Lumina Avenue past Iula Street through the one-way sign. Once Gannon realized his error he allegedly attempted to reverse his vehicle to Iula Street but struck another vehicle, a white Dodge Ram truck, on the way.
WBPD issued a Be On the Lookout order for the vehicle and a short time later Gannon was stopped by a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper and arrested for driving while impaired in addition to charges for the two counts of hit and run.