Police investigate how suspect escaped from custody

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The search for the man who escaped from the Pender County Jail Thursday morning is over. Police have arrested Christopher Scott Tew-Creech and are now investigating how the escape could have happened.

Several law enforcement agencies, including Pender County Sheriff’ Department, Surf City Police, Wilmington Police and Burgaw Police, searched for hours before making an arrest. Pender County deputies found Christopher Scott Tew-Creech in the 4000-block of Stag Park Road.

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It began this morning when Surf City Police arrested Tew-Creech on a warrant from Onslow County and brought him to the Magistrate’s Office at the Pender County Jail. But the office is not a secured area and Tew-Creech had direct access to the lobby.

Surf City Police Chief Ron Shanahan says the Pender County Jail is unique because it does not have any secured area for booking suspects.

“You know it’s a different setup, it’s newer facility. It’s something that I’m sure I’ll sit down with the sheriff and discuss it with him,” said Shanahan. “I can’t make that statement saying ‘Yeah that facility’s the cause of this whole thing.’ Because that’s possibly not true.”



Shanahan says they are investigating building security as well as how officers handled the booking. He says the suspect was handcuffed when he was brought to the jail, but did not have them on when he was arrested.

Shanahan says that Tew-Creech got a secured bond for $190,200. We did reach out to Pender County Sheriff Carson Smith for a comment on the security of his jail but he did not respond.