Handcuffed man escapes during BGF raids

A handcuffed man escaped police custody during raids connected to Thursday's massive takedown of suspected Black Guerrilla Family gang members, police confirmed Friday.

The suspect — who police identified as Tavon Lee, 23 — was not among the 48 people charged by prosecutors in the gang case, but was being sought by investigators and had been placed into custody during a raid in the 400 block of Pittman Pl. in Greenmount West, officials said.


"Somehow he was able to elude police and fled the location," said Sgt. Sarah Connolly. "We tried to locate him, using our K-9 unit, to no avail. At this time he has not been apprehended."

Connolly said police were investigating what procedures broke down.


A spokesman for the ATF confirmed that agents were present at the raid but referred comment to Baltimore Police.

In addition to Lee, police were looking for 13 other defendants charged in BGF case. A total of 48 people were charged with being BGF gang members or associates.

Authorities said they pieced together eight years of violence, mostly in the Barclay area, and filed charges against a majority of the defendants using the state's little-used gang statute. The BGF, prosecutors say, took over a local crew called the Young GorillaÖ Family around 2009 and had been engaged in conflict with rivals and each other.

Three people charged in the indictment have addresses listed in the 400 block of Pittman Pl., where police say Lee escaped during the execution of a search warrant.