FYN has learned this afternoon via Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle that Deputy Henry Wooten, the arresting officer of Video Journalist Nydia Tisdale, has been suspended until an internal investigation is completed. Carlisle also told FYN that Wooten was not on duty at the time he made the arrest. FYN will continue to follow and update with any information that becomes available. Carlisle’s complete interview with transcript below:
Listen below to audio interview with Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle.
FYN: Hello. Hello is this Sheriff Carlisle?
Carlisle : Yes.
FYN: Sheriff, ah, this is Brian Prichard with FYN ahh . Do you have an opportunity for a brief interview?
Carlisle : Yes.
FYN: O.K. ah, I just always, ah, I always ah announce who I am, like I did Saturday night, Brian Prichard FYN, I don’t catch anybody off guard so at this time ah if you need to tell me somethings off the record I’d appreciate you do that cuz I always want to be up front. O.K. You goo
FYN: Thank you Sheriff. I have a couple of quick questions. I have read the arrest report, ah you still have, do you still have Ms. Tisdale’s camera?
Carlisle:Yes sir we do.
FYN: O.K. What, what is, I mean when will she receive that back?
Carlisle: Uh, We’re trying to make contact with her today, uh in fact, uh we’ll probably make contact with her today because I’ve uh instructed my Chief investigator to uh look into the arrest of Ms. Tisdale, What I, what I’m gonna do uh I’m uh I’ve instructed him to do a thorough and complete investigation on why she was removed and how she was removed
FYN: O.K. now, go ahead sir I’m sorry.
Carlisle: and then get those results back to me uh so I can fully determine what happened.
FYN: Were you, were you anytime were you at the location or at the event, were you there at anytime I mean for clarity you do know I was there sitting right behind Ms. Tisdale?
Carlisle: Yeah, uh, I uh, I, I took it that you were there but I was not there at the event at all,
Carlisle: we had other events going on in the County and I was not attending that event.
FYN: O.K. When it come to uh uh and just clear me up, when it come to unlawful trespass or whatever the uh of the the official charge was on the trespass did the Burts press those charges or did did the property owner not have to press those charges?
Carlisle: Well, Uh, uh the property owner does not have to press charges uh, all they have to do is ask the person to leave and if they refuse to leave then they can be arrested…now the ? law is if an officers there they can ask a a person to leave also and if they refuse then the officer can lead, the officer can make the arrest right then and there.
FYN: O.K. ahh, O.K. they can make it if instructed by the owners that they want somebody to leave
FYN: has the ability to say it was unlawful trespass.
Carlisle: Right. Unlawful trespassing.
FYN: I understand, now um, I was told, I was told by Ms. Tisdale in an interview I did with her that when officer Deputy Wooten had her in the uh main area, the entrance area of the barn of the Pumpkin Farm which I was not at, that uh, Mr. Johnny Burt said, and this might be the quote, but uh, not a quote but said, let her go and Wooten said it’s, it’s went to far for that. So that came to me in an interview with Ms. Tisdale that, I guess Johnny Burt says she allegedly said Johnny Burt said to your officer, go ahead and let her go, let her go home and he said and your officer said, It’s gone further than that….is that in a report anywhere?
Carlisle: Yes it’s not in the report uh, the initial report and that’s the thing that I heard that night that I, I can’t clarify that happened on that way or not uh and that’s why I want this investigation to be complete, I want to find out, I want to come interview Johnny Burt, I want to come interview everybody there that was involved that this was (?) and let us get the true facts of ???it, was what everybody thought????????what had happened. I’m not doubting or sayin it didn’t happen but uh again I don’t know that it happened like (?) heard from seen any kind of report that that’s what happened. I wanna find that out.
FYN: O.K. now when you sent me and I appreciate that when you sent me the uh arrest report and the booking sheets Uh, Um, or or because it’s an ongoing investigation would that be the reason why I don’t have witness statements Uh, because I didn’t get witness statements, is that because it is still an ongoing investigation?
Carlisle: ???????In fact I spoke to my Chief just this morning and got some more uh it’s still an ongoing investigation so we can’t release anything else other what we’ve already released until this investigation is complete. I uh, uh, And once it’s complete it will be available to the public.
FYN: O.K. can I ask then, I know, I know, Mr. Clint Bearden uh but I see witness 2 uh named as Pepper Petite, am I correct on that name, did I get that correct?
Carlisle: I think that’s Petit, Yea Pettit, Yes, I’m sorry, I apologize, yes for pronouncing pepper uh who is that, can you tell me just who that is without going into any detail.
Carlisle: He, He’s a gentleman that lives here in Dawson county and he, he goes to a lot, lot of different events.
FYN: O.K. did uh, did uh, have you heard from any of the candidates or, or, or anybody that any officials from any of the campaigns, have you heard or spoke to any of them including the governors campaign, have you spoke to any of them?
Carlisle: The only guy I’ve spoken with is uh Sam Olen, attorney at law.(?) he, he called me Sunday night, that’s the only person I’ve spoken with.
FYN: O.K. and you spoke to him but outside of that you’ve not had communication with the other campaigns.
Carlisle: No sir, I haven’t.
FYN: O.K. Has any of your officers, or is Officer Wooten, or when I say you is the Dawson County Sheriff’s office or anybody there had any communication with any of the campaigns that your aware of?
Carlisle: No, not that I’m aware of, no sir.
FYN: O.K. Alright, uh, just a couple more, you’ve been so nice I appreciate you so just a couple quick uh other things, you have the camera and you plan to interview uh Ms. Tisdale as part of the internal investigation, do you, do you think that uh, maybe cuz of the sensitivity that maybe the investigation needs to go outside your office or do you think that you can do that internally and get the results you want out of this?
Carlisle: I think I can do it internally and get the results uh, if I can get everbody to cooperate and come in and then interview uh then I think we can do it internally with no problem.
FYN: O.K. uh, I’m only and Mr. Officer Uh Wooten, is still on active duty right now pending the investigation right now, he’s still active?
Carlisle: As of right now he is, yes. I’m gonna be uh, I’m gonna be honest with you, I…(?) ….County attorney later on today and let him review what’s on I found out and uh, go from there. I’ll make things simple there.
FYN: Well, Sheriff, thank you very much for your time. I’m looking through the list of questions, I had a list of questions I made up before I called you and uh, uh, and uh I think I’ve asked them all and I think you’ve answered them all and I appreciate and respect that it’s an ongoing investigation and you are limited to what all you can tell me. Uh. O.K. Thank you very much, I appreciate it, Thank you, thank you….and again you understand that we were on the record today?
Carlisle: Yes sir.
FYN: O.K. alright Thank you sir. Have a nice day. Bye. Carlisle: Bye.