WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - Officers with the Wrightsville Beach Police Department criminally charged several individuals Wednesday night for not complying with the town’s mandatory evacuation order.
Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House said in a news conference Thursday morning that officers encountered several individuals “wandering outside” overnight.
“Our department will be enforcing evacuation orders and criminally charging folks if they either impede our operations, meaning we’ve got to break free from what we’re doing to let them know they need to come out of the storm, or if they put our first responders in danger, in other words calling 911 asking for help to where our first responders are going to have to respond to put their own lives in danger,” House said.
A mandatory evacuation ordered was issued on Wednesday for Wrightsville Beach and other New Hanover County beach towns. Violating that order is a class 2 misdemeanor, according to House.
District Attorney Ben David had agreed to prosecute these cases, House said.
“As a reminder, once wind speeds reach unsafe levels, our first responders will not come out,” House said. “So if you call 911, we will not be there.”