Ken Riley keeps job atop ILA

Ken Riley

Former North Charleston police officer Nicholas Lomma told a dispatcher he was visiting a friend in rural Colleton County when he crashed his patrol car into a ditch early Saturday.

Radio transmission between Lomma and his supervisors released to The Post and Courier on Thursday said Lomma called a tow truck service after the 1:30 a.m. wreck and then contacted dispatchers over his police radio to request the address for the city garage.

Supervisors told the off-duty officer not to allow the tow truck to take the patrol car and to instead wait for the city to send one.

Lomma's frustration with having to wait is audible on the transmissions.

"Will you dispatch any tow company to me? I will pay for it out of my pocket. I've been sitting out here for four hours, and I'm abandoned out here in Colleton County."

The dispatcher says she can't do that.

"Please raise the sergeant, I'm about to abandon a city vehicle," Lomma said.

The dispatcher tells Lomma officers are en route.

North Charleston supervisors and a S.C. Highway Patrol trooper found Lomma and the patrol car about 7:30 a.m. on S.C. Highway 28.

The Highway Patrol charged Lomma with DUI.

Chief Jon Zumalt fired Lomma on Monday after he said supervisors smelled alcohol on his breath and noting that Lomma violated policy by driving the car more than 10 miles outside of city limits.

Lomma told dispatchers that he used the radio to contact them because his cell phone didn't have reception.

"There was a deer in the road, I swerved off the road," he told a supervisor. "I must have hit something just on the side of the road. When I tried to put it back in gear it wouldn't go back in gear."