SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Saratoga Springs Police say a man in custody made threats to a Skidmore College student Tuesday saying he would "shoot her and then kill himself" causing the campus to go into lockdown Tuesday night.
Saratoga Springs Police say they received a call from the father of a Skidmore College student in her early 20's at around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday after he said he received phone calls at his home in Sherborn, Massachusetts threatening the safety of his daughter.
Police say they located the student on campus shortly before 7 p.m. and the college went on lockdown after that until Wednesday morning.
Police say the student had received text messages from 49-year-old Lance Leonard of Cuttyhunk, Mass. Police say Leonard threatened to kill her and then kill himself at Skidmore.
Saratoga Springs District Attorney James Murphy says there was a
relationship between Leonard and the student. "These two were having an
relationship of some kind. She was trying to get away from him this man
she wanted to break up with him," he said.
The student was being kept in a remote location guarded by officers. Then police were notified by Sherborn Police that after tracking Lance Leonard's cell phone they confirmed he was in New Rochelle and believed to he headed to Albany and then Saratoga Springs.
"Sherborn PD indicated that due to the prior criminal history of Leonard they
had the ability to ping his cell phone and track his location," said Lt. John Catone of Saratoga Springs Police Dept.
As police checked vehicles coming in and out of Skidmore College other officers spread out checking all buses in the Saratoga and Albany areas until about 1 a.m.
All persons and vehicles attempting to enter the Skidmore property were being stopped from entering, with the exception of students with valid identification and a heavy police presence remained on campus throughout the evening.
"He had some prior dealings with them they didn't get into great detail but they did have concerns about him and then the family obviously knows him and they indicated to us that there were some mental health issues," said Lt. Catone.
Leonard was located early Wednesday morning around 6:40 a.m. by Police outside the Taj Mahal hotel in Atlantic City.
Saratoga Springs Police Department has a warrant for his arrest and he is charged with Coercion 1st,-degree, a felony, Aggravated Harassment and Stalking, both misdemeanors.
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