Charges Dismissed Against Smithfield Police Captain

MORRISVILLE – Charges against a Smithfield police captain, involving an off-duty incident over a handicapped parking space, have been dismissed.

Captain Ryan Sheppard. Johnston County Report 2016 Photo

Police Captain Ryan Sheppard was charged in December 2021 with misdemeanor stalking and communicating threats after an incident in the PetSmart parking lot in Morrisville, NC. Captain Sheppard was briefly detained and handcuffed by Morrisville Police before being released at the scene.

Terence Priester said at the time he was sitting alone in his car watching a video as he waited for his wife while she shopped in a nearby store. He claimed a man, identified as Captain Sheppard, began pounding on the driver’s side window questioning why he was parked in a handicapped parking space. Priester said he possessed a valid handicapped parking placard.

In a December interview Priester said, ““I rolled my window down and expressed my frustration in the way he pounded on my window and could have caused damage to my vehicle. In exchange, he said ‘F**k off. I am a police officer.’ I questioned how he had the right to approach my vehicle. He got back in the driver’s side of his vehicle, grabbed a black object that appeared to be a firearm and said ‘f**k off. I will shoot you. Let’s go, let’s go.’”

Morrisville Police said store security video did not show that location in the parking lot. Morrisville Police said Sheppard’s personal vehicle was searched and a gun magazine was found but no firearm. Responding officers did not take out any warrants in the case.

However, Priester later appeared before a Wake County magistrate who issued a criminal summons for stalking and communicating threats against Captain Sheppard. A court date was set for March 18, 2022 in Wake County.

During the March 18 court case, both parties agreed to enter into mediation. Following mediation, the two misdemeanor charges were dismissed and expunged, erasing Mr. Sheppard’s record the charges were ever filed against him.

Reached by telephone this week, Mr. Priester, who is the First Vice President of the African American Caucus of the NC Democratic Party, said he was unable to comment due to the mediation agreement.

Tim Kerigan, Human Resource Director for the Town of Smithfield, said this week the internal investigation conducted by the Town following the December incident has been completed but it is a personnel matter. Mr. Kerigan confirmed Ryan Sheppard remains a police captain and there has been no change in his salary. He does, however, remains on light duty due to medical reasons.


  1. Lol are you serious? He is still on the force . He was still basically found guilty but went through remediation and charges where dropped because they came to some agreement. That is what remediation is . Now you telling me that the police department is gonna keep him on the force ?

  2. I knew he was innocent. He don’t enforce traffic laws and parking violations in Smithfield, why would he try to enforce them while out of his jurisdiction?

    Hopefully after adding a new officer to the force Smithfield PD will begin to enforcing traffic laws again. The speeding in our neighborhoods and running traffic lights and stop signs without even slowing down is getting ridiculous. Our streets need to be kept safe! You need to make your presence known and start handing out citations. As it is, there’s absolutely no deterrent for those that are breaking the traffic laws within the city limits of Smithfield! Our State Troopers and Deputy Sherriff’s write more citations inside the city limits of Smithfield than our own police department does.

    • Innocent? He went into remediation. Do you know what that is . That is when you work something out to get the chargers dropped with the plaintiff. That’s where you offer money and whatever. That’s why the other guy said he could not comment because it can be part of the agreement that he not say what happen. Just like trump paid all them strippers off and then they came out talking about it then he tried suing them for breaking the agreement

  3. I am just shaking my head. I can’t believe it, he was out of his jurisdiction acting like this, what does he act like in his district. God protect out citizens. How does the Officers of the Smithfield police Department Feel about having to work with this person, who has shown he can explode at any minute. This needs to be reinvested and he needs to be let go before He causes serious harm and the Town of Smithfield has a lawsuit they can’t handle.

  4. I’m not a lawyer and don’t want to be but if there is no record of a charge how can there be a conviction? As far as the speeders and running stop signs and just a general disregard of traffic laws. I live in a residential area of Smithfield where the speed limit is 25 mph. We live one block from an elementary school. Every day I watch the same people running 60 to 70 mph and slowing down at stop signs not stopping. Somebody is going to die because the laws are not being enforced!

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