Politics & Government

Former NC Gov. McCrory says man beat his car with tree limb while driving in Charlotte

Former governor Pat McCrory insisted he made the comments drawing fire as a political analyst, not as a GOP partisan.
Former governor Pat McCrory insisted he made the comments drawing fire as a political analyst, not as a GOP partisan.

A man attacked former N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory’s car with a tree limb in Charlotte, McCrory shared Thursday on his WBT radio show.

McCrory said he was turning at the intersection of Selwyn Avenue and Runnymede Lane Wednesday afternoon when he stopped to let a man walk through the crosswalk.

“He turned toward me and he starting cussing and yelling at me,” McCrory said on the radio show. “And I think he banged on the hood of my car. And I said, ‘This is interesting.’”

McCrory urged the man to continue crossing the street, then realized the man had a big stick in his hand.

“A huge stick — a limb. A huge limb that’s taller than he is and he is a big man. Probably 6’1”, 6’2”, gray hair with a gray beard, big man, looks like a former championship wrestler. This is how I remember him — God knows if it’s true.”

The man yelled that he recognized McCrory, the former governor said, and continued swearing at him.

“He proceeds to take his big limb ... and he slams it on top of my car,” McCrory said. “Whoa. I open my door, take one foot out. He turns back toward me and it’s obvious he’s bigger than me, he has a huge branch and (is) ready to do damage again.”

McCrory considered getting out of the car, he said, but he noticed someone videotaping the interaction from a nearby car.

McCrory drove away and pulled into the back of Park Road Shopping Center, debating whether to call the police. He said he didn’t want “a big story,” but he realized he’d need to report the incident to his insurance company to fix the damage to his car.

The police were helpful, McCrory said, but he and his wife were alarmed by the incident because it was so close to their house.

“The more I think about it, I’m not laughing about it,” he said. “I’m angry about it.”

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police report on the incident does not include McCrory’s name, but it reports that a 62-year-old white man had his car dented by a stranger carrying a stick near Runnymede Lane Wednesday afternoon. McCrory is 62.

The stranger caused about $600 in damage to the top of the car, a Lexus sedan, according to the police report.

McCrory retweeted a WSOC story about the incident Friday, writing “Never a dull moment.”

The Observer has requested the 911 call associated with this incident. No arrest has been made as of 3 p.m. Saturday, according to police.

In a more-than-three-minute video posted on Facebook by Udai Basavaraj, former N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, television personality and conservative pundit Lou Dobbs and three unidentified women are approached by people on the street who shout “Shame!” a

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Jane Wester is a Charlotte native and has been covering criminal justice and public safety for The Charlotte Observer since May 2017.