SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — Surf City Police says an officer failed to following procedures during an arrest led to a man’s escape from the Pender County jail early Thursday morning.
Surf City Police Chief Ron Shanahan said after reviewing the incident, they have found that the arresting officer did not follow proper confinement procedures during the arrest of Christopher Scott Tew-Creech while at the Pender County magistrate’s office.
Shanahan said every officer has access to the Intoxilyzer room at the jail, which is a confined room. He said the arresting officer, Corporal Eric Petersen, left Tew-Creech handcuffed, but unattended in the lobby for a short period of time when he realized he had left.
Police say it was also later found that a release order was never issued to the officer during this process.
Shanahan said officers took Tew-Creech into custody early Thursday morning for active drug warrants from the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office. He said Tew-Creech was also in possession of heroin during the time of arrest.
Shanahan said Tew-Creech was then transported to the Pender County magistrate’s office. While at the magistrate’s office, the chief said Tew-Creech was placed on a secured bond. At some point during the process, Tew-Creech ran.
Police and Pender County Sheriff deputies searched for hours and eventually found Tew-Creech in the the 4000-block of Stag Park Road Thursday afternoon.
Shanahan said this this is a serious matter, which will be handled internally, so as to prevent an incident like this from happening again.
Shanahan says this is still an active internal investigation and there has been no disciplinary action taken on Cpl Petersen at this time.