Department Fires Officer Who Failed To Report Car Wreck

12:03 AM, May 2, 2012   |    comments
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Guilford County, NC -- When people break the law, the police are there to hold them accountable.

But what happens when a cop breaks the law and then asks another officer to help him cover it up?

A News 2 investigation into a similar case in Greensboro has revealed one officer has been fired and the other has resigned.

The story started March 14th with some drinks and then a car wreck and an accident report a full six days later.

The report reveals that then-Officer Jaylynn Atkins was drinking on that Wednesday night and later got in his car with his 7-year-old.

Atkins told investigators he was driving southbound on Old Julian Road in Guilford County when he noticed a moth flying in his car.

He says he was trying to get the insect out of the car when he lost control.

The vehicle crossed the yellow line, veered into the oncoming lane and then went off the road into a ditch.

To make matters worse, Atkins did not report the accident and instead called a friend to pull his wrecked car out of the ditch.

Atkins and the 7-year-old left the scene at that point with the friend.

The incident report doesn't say whether Atkins or the child was injured.

Also, based on information Greensboro police have released, it's not clear if Atkins reported the accident on his own or if he was forced to do so through an investigation at the police department.

The Highway Patrol has charged him with "Failure to Report an Accident" and "Failure to Maintain Lane."

Greensboro police tell us, in their investigation, they found Atkins also violated five conduct rules including lying, abuse of position and not following the law.
Police confirm another officer resigned a day before they fired Atkins.

This officer was being investigated for misconduct but the department would not tell News 2 why - citing restrictive department disciplinary procedures (see 7.2 ) and North Carolina General Statute 160A-168. 

The department points out the law governing release of information on voluntary separations protects those documents in the resigning officer's case.
However, News 2's sources tell us the other officer was involved in helping Atkins cover up the accident.

In a phone conversation with Atkins Tuesday afternoon, he explained that this case is not about being above the law.

He says what he did was a stupid mistake and he's now living with the consequences.

Atkins says he's due to face a judge on Friday May 4th. He tells us, he has hired a lawyer.


WFMY News 2

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