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Pittsboro town manager responses to allegations

Posted Wednesday, February 21, 2007

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Pittsboro, NC - Pittsboro Town Manager Sam Misenheimer released a statement Tuesday after allegations that he resisted arrest after a confrontation during a traffic stop:

I plan to remain as the Town Manager for the Town of Pittsboro as this circumstance has no bearing on my job performance or ability to do the job. Unfortunately, I have had an anonymous stalker over the past two and a half years who continues to cause problems for me. The State Highway Patrol Office received an several anonymous calls indicating that my driver’s license has been suspended due to points on my license. Unfortunately I have not received a notice of this transaction and was unaware of the situation with regards to my license. I have not received a notice in the mail or letter advising me of these conditions. The State Trooper had been to my office on Tuesday morning awaiting my arrival, and I received two calls from Town Hall staff inquiring about my arrival time to the office. During the last call, I indicated that I was driving to Town Hall at that time and would meet the officer at Town Hall.

Upon leaving for work around 9:00 AM, I proceeded to Town Hall without expecting to be followed or stopped by a Highway Patrol Officer. And in fact did not notice that I was being followed until arriving a block from Town Hall. The officer proceeded to sound his siren and got my attention at which time I proceeded to a safe place to pull off the road to be out of harms way on Martin Luther King Drive in Pittsboro. I proceeded to get out of my car and to walk and speak with the officer, shock his hand and introduced myself and asked if he was the officer that had been to Town Hall. He indicated that I was driving with a suspended driver’s license. I indicated and told him that I was not aware that my license was suspended and asked why I had been stopped and how I could assist the officer. I thought that I was meeting him at Town Hall and not on the street like a common criminal.

He proceeded to tell me to get back into my car and that I was driving without a valid licensed, I again shared with him that I was not aware of these circumstances regarding my licenses and asked if he had the information to show me the status of my licenses. I again told him that I had not received any information from the DMV indicating this situation. He then told me to put my hands on my car and turn around, and I asked what was going on, he then tells me that he is going to handcuff me. Again I asked what was taking place and why was he being so belligerent and hostile. He then proceeded to grab me and force me to be handcuffed and body slammed me to the asphalt, which caused serious injuries to me. The officer acted improperly and used unnecessary brutal force in handling this situation, in fact he is 3 x larger in size in build and stature compared to me at 5’11’’ and 175 lbs. In fact I have abrasions and cuts to my head, hands, knees, and elbows due to him body slamming me down of the asphalt. I have a bruised and strained shoulder cuff from him grabbing me with force. Besides being bodily injured and publicly humiliated he had no regard as to whether I was injured and never once inquired about my condition. He was more concerned with having damaged his uniform. He also damaged a newly purchased leather coat that and watch that I was wearing. This was certainly NO way to treat anyone and I certainly did not resist arrest or provoke the situation and did not and do not deserve the way this matter has been handled.

I DID NOT RESIST ARREST and I did even know that I was being arrested. I DID NOT GO THROUGH A STOP without stopping which was not the reason that the officer wanted to speaker me.

All this was due and caused by an anonymous call from someone that called the Highway Patrol Office complaining and demanding that something be done about these infractions. The anonymous person threatened to call the Governor’s Office if something was not done. I do not know who or why someone would be doing this to me and did not deserve to be treated with such force and unprofessional manner. This was not the typical manner in which a High Patrol Officer normally handles this type of situation and I do not understand why this Officer chose to act with such rage and force. I simply asked what was going on and why, which he never did tell me.

Had I acted unlawfully and with disrespect to the officer I could maybe understand his reactions, but I was not and did not respond to him in any unprofessional manner. His use of brut force and rudeness was uncalled for and unnecessary.

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