N.C. police lieutenant accused of harassing, fighting with race fans at Florence Motor Speedway

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 11:30 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2022 at 12:27 PM EST
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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A Tabor City police lieutenant has been suspended without pay after he was accused of harassing race fans, being belligerent and even spitting on deputies at Florence Motor Speedway over the weekend.

A sergeant with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and other units were at the speedway on Saturday night when they were requested to help with a man who was allegedly harassing race fans at the gate.

One woman told officers that the suspect was telling people he was a lieutenant and showing his badge to people while being belligerent, the incident report stated. The sergeant added that he witnessed the suspect harassing women and children who were entering the gate.

“The subject was heavily intoxicated and advised he was a lieutenant for the Tabor City Police Department,” the incident report stated. “I, Sgt. Odom, asked for his credentials and confirmed he was Lt. Gary Lewis Tabor City Police Department.”

The sergeant told Lewis to leave the area, but Lewis would not comply, according to the report.

It went on to state that Lewis left the area after his son came up and the two left toward the exit.

Minutes later, the report shows that the Florence County dispatch started receiving calls about a person acting violent in the parking lot and trying to assault people.

Deputies spoke with people who called 911, and according to the report, they said that Lewis came up to their campsite and pulled down his pants and tried to go to the bathroom, which led to a fight where Lewis was punched in the face.

A deputy located Lewis and detained him, and while he was being detained, Lewis spit blood at the deputies at the scene, according to the report.

He is charged with public disorderly conduct and trespassing. He was released on Sunday on a $728 personal recognizance bond.

Tabor City Police Chief Donald Dowless said that Lewis is suspended without pay while the department investigates the matter. He said that more actions may be taken against Lewis as the investigation continues.

He added that he wants to apologize to the racetrack and the citizens who there on Saturday who were there to have fun. Dowlas also apologized to Florence County and said the situation was uncalled for.