Jawaun Lee Arrested In North Carolina

After months on the run and a massive manhunt, Jawaun Lee is behind bars.

Police got a tip more than a week ago that Lee might be in North Carolina. Tuesday, he was spotted in Charlotte and arrested.

It's news that has officers all around Savannah excited.

"This is one that's well worth it," said Sgt. Armando Tamargo. "I don't think anybody looks back and feels that this time wasn't spent well. I think this is something that the whole community can look back and breathe a sigh of relief that this guy's finally off the street."

Tamargo knows all too well. He was one of the officers put on a special task force to bring Lee in.

Lee was originally wanted for sucker punching another officer, and stealing his gun. Then just a few days later, he was named a suspect in a shootout that wounded an innocent bystander.

Police thought they'd cornered him once, and two officers were hurt during a high speed chase through downtown Savannah. That turned out to be a different person on the most wanted list, but the chase highlighted the importance of catching Lee.

"It was huge. Whenever you have people assaulting police, I mean we're the last line of defense between the citizens of this community. And whenever there's a direct attack on one of our officers, that shows you the character and the type of person that subject was," said Tamargo.

Back when the special task force was put together, officers predicted how it might turn out.

"We're going to find these individuals," said Major Everett Ragan back in September. "We're going to find these individuals here or they're going to run somewhere else and then we will get the help of other agencies to find them wherever they go."

That proved accurate, with help from the US Marshals Tuesday.

Lee is in jail in Charlotte awaiting extradition. Sgt. Tamargo, Sgt. Rob Gavin and Officer Glenn Castro spent a lot of time in North Carolina last week, but more than 20 officers rotated in and out of that special task force's investigation over the last few months.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com