Dougherty Sheriff's deputy helps inmate back on his feet

Dougherty Sheriff's deputy helps inmate back on his feet

A 73-year old man, living on the road, wound up in the Dougherty County jail last week.

A Sheriff's deputy recognized the man was sick,  not a criminal.

George Lee could not explain how he and his three dogs ended up in Albany, but a deputy at the jail went far beyond his job to enlist many members of the community to help him.73 year old George Lee was brought to the Dougherty County jail Wednesday charged with simple battery. Dougherty County Sheriff Office Sergeant Rick Windham was called to help him.

Windham said "Apparently he was a severe diabetic, and he was pulled over by Albany Police Department, and they thought possibly he had dementia."

Sick and confused, the Air Force veteran and retired railroad worker pushed a nurse at the hospital, and ended up in jail.  Windham got him medical help, and more.

Windham said "Got him a haircut, got him shaved.  He looked like a new person.  The medication started really helping.  He became better, much better."

Then Windham called on the community.  The Albany Humane Society, housing Lee's dogs, cleaned them and updated their shots.  Volunteers at Central Baptist Church cleaned Lee's filthy truck.

Central Baptist Church Pastor Dr. Greg Davis said "Rick said Preacher we just can't send him away that way. I can't send him out in a truck that filthy.  I don't care where he goes, we need to clean it up for him."

Church members cleaned and fixed up Lee's truck. Saturday Windham helped Lee pick up his truck and dogs.

Windham said "He just teared up. It was fantastic to watch this man reunite with his animals.  He loves those animals."

Windham made sure Lee was safe to drive, and headed him back to South Carolina in much better health.

Davis said "To see a guy like that, who serves his community as a deputy sheriff.  Who loves people."

Windham said "I think God put me in this job so I can help people like this, because it's part of who I am."

A jailer not content to just lock up a visitor to our city.

Rick Windham said he will ask the D.A.'s office to drop the criminal charge against him.  He doubts he ever sees or hears from George Lee again, but he knows he left his jail much better than when he came in.

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