Crime

Rock Hill teacher drove recklessly after traffic stop, police say

Ray McCleod Jr.
Ray McCleod Jr.

A Rock Hill teacher pulled over and cited for disregarding a stop sign was later charged with reckless driving after police say he lost control of his vehicle while speeding away from the traffic stop.

Ray McCleod Jr., 45, was charged Monday with reckless driving and released from the Rock Hill city jail after paying the $440 ticket, according to jail records.

McCleod is a special education resource teacher at Sullivan Middle School, according to the August personnel report presented to the Rock Hill school board.

An officer saw a blue Honda Accord approach a stop sign at Ebenezer Road and Hillcrest Avenue on Monday and “blow through” the stop sign, according to a police report. He initiated a stop and spoke with McCleod.

The officer said he returned to McCleod’s car with a citation for disregarding a stop sign. When the officer tried to explain to McCleod his charge, court date and how to pay, the report states, McCleod grabbed the citation and said, “I can read.” McCleod then drove forward and turned around in a parking lot without receiving all of the information or his payment card, according to the report.

The officer returned to his patrol car, at which point McCleod drove past while yelling “an unknown statement,” police said. The officer tried to ask McCleod what he said, the report states, and McCleod responded, “You know what that means” and got out of his car.

When asked if he wanted the court card to pay the ticket online, McCleod declined and got back in his vehicle, then “put his vehicle in drive and pressed his accelerator hard while attempting to pull up to the roadway and make a right turn,” the report states. The officer wrote that McCleod lost control of the car, and that the tires made a sliding sound followed by a screeching sound as he pulled onto Ebenezer Road and “accelerated rapidly.”

The officer pursued McCleod and stopped him again in the parking lot of the Food Lion store on Ebenezer Road, where he arrested McCleod for reckless driving.

McCleod began to “verbally bait” the officer as he was being handcuffed, the report states, and during the ride to the Rock Hill Law Center, he continued to bait the officer and made “racially motivated statements.” McCleod also said the officer was “a crooked cop and racist,” and that the officer was “dumb and uneducated” while he was “an educated black man and a teacher.”

At the jail, he allegedly continued trying to bait and intimidate the officer.

Mychal Frost, a spokesman for the Rock Hill School District, could only confirm Tuesday that McCleod works for the Rock Hill school district.

“We are still learning the specifics of the arrest,” Frost said. “We are determining our next steps at this point as we meet with the individual in question.”

It was unclear if McCleod had retained an attorney, and efforts to reach him were unsuccessful on Tuesday.

Teddy Kulmala: 803-329-4082, @teddy_kulmala

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