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Gouverneur man charged with burglary after fleeing police

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GOUVERNEUR — A Gouverneur man accused of driving an unregistered vehicle without a license Tuesday ran farther afoul of the law when he allegedly ran away from police and attempted to hide in an elderly woman’s home.

State police on Tuesday charged Kristopher T. Leonard, 27, of 13952D County Route 12, Lot 2, with felony second-degree burglary and misdemeanor second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. He also was cited with several traffic infractions.

Police said they attempted to stop Mr. Leonard for a broken taillight Tuesday morning on County Route 12, at which point he turned into a driveway, got out of his vehicle and took off on foot.

After following Mr. Leonard’s footprints in the snow, police said, they were led to the 951 County Route 12 residence of Kristina Turnbull, which they allege Mr. Leonard entered without permission to avoid being charged with unlicensed operation. Mr. Leonard in a statement filed with Fowler Town Court said that he knew police were going to stop him, that he was driving a vehicle that didn’t have registered plates and that he did not have a valid driver’s license.

Mr. Leonard told police he ran through fields and woods for 2 to 3 miles, where he hid.

“I knew I was wrong for running, but I just didn’t want to get in trouble,” he said. “I eventually came out behind a house ... I then knocked on the door and an elderly woman let me in.”

But according to court documents, Ms. Turnbull, who was sitting at her kitchen table when she saw an unfamiliar man walk through her yard and approach her home, said Mr. Leonard let himself in her home without knocking and told her he needed to use her phone.

“I observed blood on his hands, which appeared to be scratched,” Ms. Turnbull said. “I was startled and scared when he entered. He told me not to tell the police that he was there. I intended to give him whatever he wanted. I was afraid because I didn’t know what he was going to do or why the police would be looking for him.”

Troopers took him into custody at Ms. Turnbull’s home. He was arraigned in Fowler Town Court and sent to St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

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