MUNHALL (KDKA) — A sex offender on house arrest is back in jail and facing new criminal charges after trying to escape.
According to the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, 42-year-old Demond Leonard cut off his electronic monitoring ankle bracelet. But where detectives found him was quite a surprise.
The Fugitive Squad found Leonard hiding in an apartment building right next door to his registered address at an apartment on West Street in Munhall.
Leonard was serving a house arrest sentence there.
On Nov. 10, detectives went to the apartment to arrest him for an alleged probation violation and learned he was not there. According to detectives, Leonard’s girlfriend, 40-year-old Natalie Thomas, was there.
She told them Leonard had cut off his electronic monitoring device.
“The Fugitive Squad, last night, right around 10 p.m., developed information he was staying next door to his house. He was then taken into custody in the presence of his girlfriend who was also hiding there,” said Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus, of the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives said Leonard literally fled a matter of feet from his apartment across an alleyway to hide in a basement apartment in the building next door.
“Certainly, with his criminal history and the type of charges, we consider him dangerous. He is a tier one sex offender. He is required to register every year,” said Chief Deputy Kraus.
In all his years in law enforcement, Chief Deputy Kraus said he has never seen a person escape to a place so close to their home.
“Most times, people, they travel some significant distance. This is kind of a unique case where he escapes just to hide in an apartment next door,” he said.