A man on the run now in custody after an hours long search


A suspect is in custody after a manhunt that started overnight and went through the afternoon. The hum of a search helicopter filled the air for the final hours of the search at the Richmond County and Columbia County border near Wrightsboro Rd., Flowing Wells Rd. and I-20.

“Thankful for the boys in blue,” says Omar Walden who lives in the area where deputies focused the tail end of their search. “The helicopter kept circling right here so I knew they had him cornered pretty close right here.”

Law enforcement put Frank Mauro Asuncion in handcuffs shortly before 2 PM. They pulled him from the woods that line the Augusta Soccer Complex near Flowing Wells Road. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and State Troopers worked together for hours to bring Asuncion into custody.

“I was glad to see that our county was working with Columbia County and they were using their resources to keep our community safe,” Walden told NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne.

Deputies, troopers and K-9 units lined Wrightsboro Rd and Maddox Rd. for most of the morning into the PM hours. Walden says there are lots of families who live in this area and he called a neighbor who has children to let him know to be on the lookout.

“They just had a big perimeter and they said he was in the woods right back here,” Walden told NewsChannel 6. “They said they had been chasing him all night long.”

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office tells us Asuncion is wanted for questioning in connection with the death of Antoine Jones. That homicide happened on July 28th on the 2600 block of Patterson Bridge Road.

On Tuesday, multiple neighbors told us they grabbed their weapons or locked their doors during the manhunt.

“I just stayed armed and observant of what was going around and staying out of law enforcement’s way,” says Walden.

Another neighbor who did not want to go on camera said, “I just grabbed my gun and locked my door.”

We are told Asuncion went to an area hospital before going to jail. Asuncion told deputies he broke his ankle while running. 

Both Sue Reynolds Elementary and Belair K-8 were put on soft lockdown on Tuesday in Richmond County. The Columbia County BOE did not notify NewsChannel 6 of any lockdowns in Columbia County. Soccer practice continued per usual at the Augusta Soccer Park on Tuesday evening.

Count on NewsChannel 6 for more details as they’re available.

Original Article Below:

Deputies are assisting Richmond County investigators as they search for a suspect.

Crews are on the scene near the McDonald’s on Frontage Road near Jimmie Dyess Parkway. 

Columbia County Deputies are currently lining Wrightsboro Road near the county line.

The Richmond County K-9 unit is also on scene.

Sue Reynolds Elementary and Belair K-8 are on a soft lock down.

You can count on NewsChannel 6 for more on this developing story.

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