CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (FOX 46) - UPDATE: Trooper T.J. Williamson has submitted his resignation which went into effect Tuesday, according to the NC Department of Public Safety.
The State Highway Patrol announced Tuesday a state trooper has been placed on administrative duty after a video surfaced online of the trooper speeding down the wrong way of Highway 321 in Newton.
Trooper T.J. Williamson has been placed on administrative duty pending an internal investigation. He's been employed with the Patrol since August 2016 and is assigned to Troop F, District 5 Highway Patrol in Hickory.
According to the State Highway Patrol, in the video Trooper Williamson was responding to a call for illegal speed racing.
On Sunday, July 16 around 4:20 p.m. State Highway Patrol received information from multiple drivers that a group of sports cars were speeding and running other vehicles off the road on US 321 in Catawba County.
A total of five vehicles were seized and accused of being involved in a pre-arranged speed competition. Seven people were arrested on speed-related charges. Still, many drivers believe there had to have been a better way for the trooper to go after the racers.
The seven people arrested are all from out of state:
- Brennan T. Rowe, 22, of Wayne, N.J. charged with Impeding Traffic & Exceeding posted speed limit
- Anthony W. Obrien, 20, of Havre de Grace, M.D. charged with Impeding Traffic & Prearranged Racing
- Hoang T. Nguyen, 44, of Allen, T.X. charged with Impeding Traffic & Prearranged Racing
- Tran Hai Phi, 26, of Jacksonville, F.L. charged with Impeding Traffic & Prearranged Racing
- Haroon Masood, 27, of Philadelphia, P.A. charged with Impeding Traffic & Prearranged Racing
- Tamer Arslanouk, 24, of Waynesville, N.J. charged with Impeding Traffic
- Saad Ahmed Gil, 25, of Philadelphia, P.A. charged with Impeding Traffic & Prearranged Racing
Highway Patrol has not released the name of the trooper involved.