CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - A man accused of dumping hundreds of thousands of tires across the metro area is now in custody.
Clayton County police announced Saturday morning they arrested 35-year-old Donald LeVerette.
Channel 2 Action News has been following this case over the past year. LeVerette is connected to massive tire dumps in neighborhoods throughout Fulton and Clayton counties.
Officials previously told Channel 2 these were the worst cases of illegal tire dumping the state has ever seen. LeVerette now faces at least nine felony counts for illegal dumping.
Channel 2's Rikki Klaus was in South Fulton County, where neighbors said they are relieved police finally caught the man dumping tires in their neighborhood.
NewsDrone 2 footage from last year showed a shocking number of tires littered in Malita McKinley's City of South Fulton neighborhood.
"Nobody wants to live in a neighborhood where people are dumping trash and tires," McKinley said. "More tires than you could count."
Neighbors said more than 1,000 tires piled up last year in the South Wind neighborhood, breeding mosquitoes and leeching chemicals.
"I was disgusted," McKinley said.
Klaus spoke to Clayton County police Lt. James Robinson, who said he never expected they would find LeVerette now.
"It was a surprise, and we are extremely happy," Robinson said.
On Saturday morning, LeVerette's girlfriend told police at a hospital that he beat her with a gun.
"We responded to a home where the possible suspect was located," Robinson said.
Police said LeVerette tried to run but didn't get far.
Video shows police leading him away in handcuffs. He only had one thing to say to Channel 2 Action News cameras:
"Get out of my face,"
Klaus asked McKinley how she felt about LeVerette being caught after his girlfriend accused him of domestic violence.
"I think it shows his character," McKinley said. "I guess what goes around comes around."
Police said there are still tires scattered around Clayton County, hurting the environment. Officers believe LeVerette was part of an organization, which they are now trying to shut down.
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