Virginia state trooper on leave after arrest

Published 12:06 pm Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Virginia State Police trooper is on leave without pay after being arrested and charged last month with public intoxication — a misdemeanor — in front of a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Lynchburg.

Derrick A. Thompson, 30, of Drakes Branch, is suspended pending the outcome of his court case and a State Police investigation, according to State Police Public Relations Manager Corinne Geller.

State Police First Sgt. James Hopkins, of the State Police’s Charlotte County office, declined to comment, saying Thompson’s arrest is a private personnel matter.

Thompson, who has been a state trooper since October 2007, was arrested by Lynchburg Police Officer R.N. Ball.

Thompson was released from jail on his own recognizance, promising to appear in court in the future and not break the law on release, according to the Virginia General District Court Online System. A hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14, in Lynchburg.

The Charlotte Gazette, under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), requested details on Thompson’s arrest from the Lynchburg Police Department. The department denied the request based on a FOIA exemption regarding evidence in ongoing misdemeanor investigations.

“The information you have requested is considered to be criminal investigative information or material pertaining to a misdemeanor offense. As such, it is exempted from disclosure under Section 2.2-3706 (B) of the Code of Virginia,” said Lynchburg Police Lt. Marty Soyars in a written statement.

Shane Elder, a manager at Buffalo Wild Wings in Lynchburg, wouldn’t comment on the alleged incident.

Thompson also declined comment.

As a Class 4 misdemeanor, public intoxication is punishable by a fine up to $250.