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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous is defending his department against accusations from New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger. Berger has accused WPD of lying in a report about an incident at Berger’s home Monday night.
“We don’t mischaracterize, and we don’t lie,” Evangelous said in a statement. “We’re here to serve and protect the community.”
Evangelous released the statement after Berger said the police lied about him having injuries from a razor, having a handgun and that drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident.
Police responded to Berger’s home late Monday night after getting a request to assist EMS responding to a medical call from Berger’s girlfriend Heather Blaylock. Sources close to Berger have said the commissioner tried to kill himself, but Berger says that is not true.
According to a police report, officers seized a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson and ammunition from Berger’s home. However, Berger says he does not own a pistol, though he admits he does have a rifle. Berger also says he did not have injuries from a razor, as the report indicated.
In an e-mail to Evangelous Wednesday morning, Berger wrote, “A superficial cut while not good or something to be proud of can’t possibly constitute attempted suicide when a firearm is readily available and would be the logical choice in the event someone intended to commit suicide.”
Berger also said he had not had a drink “even a sip of a wine cooler or any other alcoholic beverage within a week of Monday evening, possibly longer” and was not on drugs. He did concede during a radio interview Tuesday that police may have been referring to legal prescription drugs. In his e-mail Berger said the mention of drugs and alcohol “is not only false, but distorts the entire series of events. How can something so false be ‘reported’ as having occured (sic) and provided to media, the public and internally.”
Crews took Berger to the hospital Monday. Berger said on the radio he was given the choice to go to the hospital or jail, so he chose the hospital, where he was later released, because of his experience after Wilmington Police arrested him in June on domestic violence charges after Blaylock called police. Berger also said he met with Evangelous last week about his “false arrest” in June.
In his e-mail, Berger said of Blaylock, “I love her, don’t get me wrong, but Heather has a history of compulsive lying and giving false information in 911 calls and to the authorities. That doesn’t mean she’s being completely dishonest, but that she will on occassion (sic) manipulate information to create a false sense of reality for others, and this is well-documented.”