Suspect who escaped deputies during traffic stop captured after manhunt

Police caught the suspect near an elementary school in a Forsyth neighborhood.

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Deputies captured a suspect they say ran from a traffic stop early Wednesday morning after an 11-hour manhunt.

Channel 2's Mike Petchenik was in Forsyth County, where the sheriff said Jonathan Castillo ran from a traffic stop near Johns Creek around 1 a.m. Deputies said they found guns and drugs in Castillo's car.

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NewsChopper 2 was over the scene where deputies took Castillo into custody just before noon near Findley Oaks Elementary School. Video footage from NewsChopper 2 showed the moments deputies surrounded Castillo and put him in handcuffs.

Petchenik spoke to neighbors, who also saw the takedown.

Prasanna Avvari took photos of deputies arresting Castillo from her home.

"At last, they caught him in front of my house," Avvari said. "I saw that."


Investigators said they stopped a car early Wednesday morning and found "multiple amounts of felony drugs in the vehicle. Two people were arrested, but Castillo ran.

Johns Creek police Lt. Todd Hood said Forsyth County asked for their help after a deputy spotted Castillo along McGinnis Ferry Road about 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"Multiple K9 units began to track the suspect," Hood said.

Around that time, viewers in the area of the manhunt reported seeing over a dozen police cars and numerous SWAT officers on the scene earlier Wednesday. Several nearby businesses reported being on lockdown.

Hood said that hours into the search, deputies got a big break.

"We had an off-duty Johns Creek police officer whose child actually attends Findley Oaks (Elementary). He saw the suspect, called it in and verified that it was the suspect," Hood said.

Officers put the school on lockdown and swarmed the neighborhood.

Petchenik talked to one man who said he was out for a job and crossed paths with Castillo.

Phillip Gossage said that at the time, he didn't think anything of him.

"He looked like any other neighbor on his morning walk," Gossage said. "He smiled, said 'Good morning.' We passed each other."

Gossage said nothing stood out until he saw the massive police presence.

Forsyth County jail records show Castillo is facing felony charges for marijuana possession, stolen property and obstruction.

Hood said he was glad for the outcome and proud of the officers involved.

"Great response from the county police force and the SWAT team," Hood said. "Just very good."