POLICE CHIEF: Officer didn't follow proper procedures prior to escape

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WITN) - An Eastern Carolina police chief says one of his officers failed to follow proper procedures that allowed a Jacksonville man to escape custody.

Christopher Tew-Creech was caught outside of Burgaw Thursday afternoon, hours after police say he ran from the Pender County Magistrate's Office.

Tew-Creech was arrested by Surf City police on warrants from Onslow County and was about to be booked into jail.

Chief Ron Shanahan says Corporal Eric Petersen left the man handcuffed, but alone, in the lobby for a short time. That was enough time for Tew-Creech to make a run for it.

The chief says there has been no disciplinary action taken yet against Petersen as this is still an active internal investigation.


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A Jacksonville man who escaped from police in Pender County is back in custody.

Surf City police say Christopher Tew-Creech was found around 1:15 p.m.on Stag Park Road outside of Burgaw by Pender County deputies.

Tew-Creech had active drug warrants out for him from the Onslow County Sheriff's Office and got away from Surf City police at the Pender County Magistrate's Office.

A Surf City officer was waiting in the magistrate's lobby to turn Tew-Creech over to the jailer at the time.

Chief Ron Shanahan says they are reviewing what happened to see if proper procedures were followed.

The chief said they are looking at charging Tew-Creech in connection with his escape today.


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A man wanted on drug charges in Onslow County has escaped police custody.

The Surf City Police Department arrested Christopher Tew-Creech, 26, of Jacksonville, early Thursday morning. Tew-Creech had active drug warrants out for him from the Onslow County Sheriff's Office.

Chief Ron Shanahan says Tew-Creech was found in possession of heroin at the time of his arrest.

While at the Pender County Magistrate's Office, Tew-Creech got away from police. A Surf City officer was waiting in the magistrate's lobby to turn Tew-Creech over to the jailer at the time.

Officers are currently searching for him.

He's described as a white man approximately 5'8" and 150 pounds. He has blue eyes and short brown hair.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911.