ONSLOW COUNTY — An off-duty Pender County deputy has been fired after he ran his patrol vehicle off Dawson Cabin Road in Onslow County, just after midnight, before it struck a ditch and overturned several times into the yard of a nearby residence. He was charged with a DWI and reckless driving.
After the early Saturday morning accident, which occurred at approximately 1 a.m., Paul Horchler was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, according to a release from Pender Sheriff Alan Cutler.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is conducting an investigation after charging Horchler with a DWI, reckless driving, and a seat belt violation.
Sheriff Cutler was immediately notified of the accident and authorized Horchler’s termination, according to the release.
“I am surprised and disappointed by these events and we will not tolerate this behavior by any of our deputies,” Sheriff Cutler said.
According to Captain James Rowell, spokesman for the office, county law enforcement vehicles can only be used for official business.
The office’s rules of conduct prohibits an employee from operating a vehicle after consuming any amount of alcohol, except in the performance of certain duties approved by a supervisor.