A Summerville man said he wanted whomever was driving a North Carolina sheriff's cruiser on Interstate 526 on Monday to be held accountable for erratic driving.
Chad Walton said that's why he posted a video of his interaction with the cruiser on YouTube Tuesday afternoon. In less than a day, the video has been viewed more than 304,200 times and has led to the deputy's resignation.
Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown issueed a news release saying the deputy who was driving the cruiser, Craig Culpepper, resigned after the Sheriff's Office reviewed the video and discussed the matter with Culpepper.
In a 911 call obtained by The Post and Courier through a Freedom of Information Act request, Walton, 32, can be heard telling an operator about his run-in with an Onslow County Sheriff's cruiser on I-526 about 6:30 p.m. Monday near the Ashley River Road exit.
Walton, who made a similar but unfounded complaint about a North Charleston police officer a year ago, told The Post and Courier the Onslow County Sheriff's cruiser was going about 50 mph in the left lane, so he flashed his lights at the car in hopes he could pass.
“He was holding up traffic,” Walton said. “I flashed my high beams at him. I could see him yelling at me in the side view mirror.” That's when Walton said he began recording the cruiser.
“I just thought 'he's going to do something stupid' and if I don't record it, no cop is going to believe me,” Walton said.
At the end of the nearly two minute video, the cruiser is seen pulling in front of Walton and hitting the brakes.
The driver of the cruiser braked suddenly, causing Walton's car to hit the cruiser, according to a North Charleston traffic collision report released today. Police have not said whether anyone was ticketed.
Sheriff Brown said in the release that the investigating officer in South Carolina did not issue any tickets, but listed Culpepper as having contributed to the collision. The damage to the sheriff's cruiser was estimated at less than $100, the release said.
No one was injured, according to police. Walton said his truck has small damage on the bumper. Walton said he called 911. “I'm about to pull over. I'm going to tell you right now, if this guy gets out of his car, he's going to have a rude awakening,” Walton told the dispatcher.
The dispatcher advised Walton not to make threats on a 911 line. Walton is then heard yelling and telling the dispatcher the man was following him.
Walton said he and the driver of the cruiser pulled into the parking lot of Northwoods Mall, where they met with North Charleston Police.
Walton is also heard on the 911 call yelling at someone once he arrives in the mall parking lot.
“You lost your mind?” Walton said. “I suggest you stay over there.”
Culpepper was in the Charleston area for K-9 training, according to the release from the Onslow County Sheriff's Office.
A call to the former deputy has not been returned.
Walton filled out a similar complaint against a North Charleston officer in March, 2012. Walton told police the officer was tailgating him on Interstate 26 in a reckless manner. The complaint was unfounded, according to a North Charleston police report.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.