Police Officer Resigns Days After District Attorney Releases SBI Report

MICRO – Just days after Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle released the findings of an investigation by the NC State Bureau of Investigation involving the actions of a Town of Micro police officer, the officer has resigned.

Officer Matthew Creech had worked part-time with the Micro police force. On May 15, 2021, Officer Creech was involved in an altercation with 88 year-old Ray Hail, a Korean War veteran and cancer survivor, while the elderly man sat in his vehicle outside his home on E. Fayetteville Street.

Hail was suffering from a medical issue, however Officer Creech forcefully removed the disabled man from the vehicle and charged him with resisting a public officer. District Attorney Doyle asked the SBI to investigate the incident following excessive force allegations.

On October 15, 2021, Doyle released the findings of the SBI investigation. She recommended Officer Creech undergo additional training should he remain employed as a law enforcement officer.

Doyle declined to file any criminal charges against Officer Creech. However, she did dismiss the resisting a public officer charge against Mr. Hail, who in the last 18 months defeated cancer, had a pacemaker replaced, and underwent major knee surgery.

“While I have serious concerns about the way Creech handled the situation, I do not believe that Creech’s actions rose to the level of excessive force that would justify criminal charges in this case,” District Attorney Doyle said Oct. 15th. “If Creech continues his employment as a law enforcement officer, I recommend additional training be required in matters of conflict resolution and deescalation techniques. At a minimum, Creech displayed poor judgment and unprofessional conduct in the way he handled the situation after he determined that Hail was not impaired.”

On October 20th, five days after the report was released, Officer Creech resigned from his part-time position with the Micro Police Department. He submitted his letter of resignation to Micro Police Chief T.M. Jones.