On January 18th, the day returning students arrived on campus to begin the new semester, the Skidmore community received a safety alert from Lori Parks announcing that Campus Safety and the Saratoga Springs Police Department were investigating two Skidmore-related break-ins and burglaries in SkidShop and Sasselin Art Building. Click to continue »
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Today, The Saratogian‘s Lucian McCarty penned a great article detailing the criminal record of Lance Leonard, the man who allegedly threatened a Skidmore student and caused last month’s campus-wide lockdown and multi-state police response. Leonard has a long list of felonies, violations, and convictions stretching back to the mid-1980s.
In his hometown of Cuttyhunk, Mass.—a sleepy island community a few miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard—Leonard pleaded guilty in 1985 to indecent assault and battery, a felony. He was originally charged with assault with intent to rape, burglary with intent to commit a rape, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
This afternoon, Lt. John Catone of the Saratoga Springs Police Department spoke to members of the press about last night’s lockdown and the arrest of suspect Lance C. Leonard.
Leonard, 49, was allegedly in a relationship with a Skidmore student. When she took measures to end the relationship, Catone said that Leonard called the victim’s home and threatened to harm her and himself. Yesterday afternoon, the victim’s father called the Saratoga Springs Police to report the threat, who in turn contacted Skidmore.
Described by Catone as a “transient” with a criminal history, Leonard had visited Skidmore at least once before. He was arrested on a warrant outside the Taj Mahal Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey early this morning, after officers in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey attempted to track him down all night by “pinging” his cellphone. At around 6am, he turned his phone back on, and Atlantic City police officers were able to arrest him without incident. It is unclear whether Leonard decided to head to New Jersey en route to Skidmore, or if it was always his intention.
Leonard has been charged with first-degree coercion, a felony. If convicted, he could receive up to seven years in prison. He has also been charged with aggravated harassment and third-degree stalking, both misdemeanors.