SCHENECTADY - A Massachusetts sex offender accused of violating his registration in Schenectady was charged with escape Friday after he walked out of the police department after being told he was under arrest, police allege.
It then took police approximately 34 minutes to track him down again. They took him back into custody in the area of the Denny's at Liberty Street and Nott Terrace, according to police allegations filed in court.
James Leonard, 44, of Boston, now faces charges of failing to register as a sex offender, a felony, and an added count of second-degree escape. He also faces a federal probation violation in an earlier federal case, officials said.
Police formally charged Leonard at the Schenectady Police Station at 4:04 p.m. Friday with failing to register, arrest records show.
He is on the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry, but had been in Schenectady long enough for him to register here, but he never did, prosecutor John Carson said Tuesday.
Officers had encountered Leonard at an earlier call, then again days later, leading police to interview him Friday at the station, Carson said.
Investigators soon informed Leonard that he would be charged and have to see a judge, Carson said. As the detective left the room to grab paperwork, Leonard walked out of the interview room, out of the Youth Aid Bureau and out the department's front door, according to Carson and police allegations filed in court. The bureau is located on the department's first floor, next to the station's front door.
The area of the Denny's, where police ultimately found Leonard, is just down Liberty Street from the station.
Leonard was re-arrested, arraigned and ordered held.
Police spokesmen did not have further information on the case.
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