Lower Burrell man accused of almost hitting trooper, fleeing DUI checkpoint
A Lower Burrell man is in the Butler County Jail, accused of nearly running down a state trooper at a DUI checkpoint over the weekend.
Terrell Eugene Leonard, 27, of Craigdell Road faces nine charges, including felony aggravated assault on a police officer.
Police said the incident began Saturday night when Leonard drove a van into a checkpoint near Exit 17 on Route 28 in Buffalo Township.
According to police, when Leonard told officers at the checkpoint that he didn’t have his driver’s license with him, he was directed to pull his vehicle to the side of the road and park. Police said Leonard didn’t have his license because it was suspended for a previous DUI conviction.
Leonard pulled over but didn’t stop, police said, driving around a car ahead of him and ignoring commands from troopers.
State police Cpl. Chris Robbins stepped in front of the van, but Leonard was accelerating and forced Robbins to quickly get out of the way, according to police.
Leonard allegedly fled, taking the exit ramp from the highway. According to police, Leonard crashed the van into a concrete barrier and escaped on foot. Troopers said he was arrested at a girlfriend’s house on Labor Day.
In addition to almost hitting the trooper, Leonard is accused of having a bag of cocaine that was found in the van after the crash, reckless endangerment, fleeing or eluding police, and four traffic offenses, including driving while his license was suspended.
State records don’t list a defense attorney for Leonard.
According to court records, at the time of the checkpoint incident, Leonard was awaiting trial for allegedly selling drugs.
In July, Lower Burrell police and a state Attorney General drug agent executed a search warrant at Leonard’s apartment and found almost 34 grams of cocaine, about 12 grams of crack cocaine and more than 19 grams of marijuana in a bedroom, along with drug paraphernalia and about $3,600 in cash, according to a criminal complaint.
Leonard posted $75,000 bond and was released from the Westmoreland County Prison pending trial.
Attorney David Regoli, who represented him on the Lower Burrell charges, wasn’t available for comment.
District Judge Sue Haggerty arraigned him Tuesday on the latest charges and ordered him held in the Butler County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing next week.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .