Suspect arrested in WABC-TV lobby

April 30, 2008 8:53:14 AM PDT
A man wanted for allegedly trying to kill his girlfriend in Portsmouth, VA is under arrest in New York City after surrendering to police in the lobby of WABC-TV. Terry Lavern Leathers, 59, of Portsmouth called the WABC-TV assignment desk at 11:45AM and said he wished to surrender for questioning in connection with a shooting exactly one week ago. Leathers said he was "wanted for a crime I did not commit," and had hitchhiked from Virginia because he was afraid to surrender to local authorities in Portsmouth.

"I came to New York to get justice," he said.

Leathers, who contacted the station on a cell phone from Columbus Avenue, said he was prepared to surrender but wished to do so with witnesses present. Moments later, he entered the station's lobby, approached security officers and identified himself. WABC-TV executives immediately alerted authorities. Leathers was taken into custody after detectives in Portsmouth confirmed that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, charging him with attempted murder.

When asked if he had shot anyone, Leathers insisted, "No I didn't." Asked why he surrendered, he said, "They say I'm armed and extremely dangerous. Anybody could take a shot at me and kill me. My life is on the line."

WABC-TV videotaped the arrest. He was unarmed and offered no resistance. Leathers was taken to the NYPD's 20th Precinct on the West Side and is expected to be arraigned later this evening.


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