Police: Louisville man who kidnapped woman, impersonated officer - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police: Louisville man who kidnapped woman, impersonated officer has long criminal history

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John McLeaney (Image Source: Louisville Metro Corrections) John McLeaney (Image Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)

JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville man has been charged with kidnapping and impersonating a police officer, but officials say John McLeaney had something even worse in mind.

Mcleaney is locked up at Metro Corrections, but he's also in a diversion program.

The program is for less violent offenders, however police say McLeaney is a dangerous man and should have been in prison. He is suspected in a long list of felonies.

"The charges are robbery in the first degree, impersonating a police officer," the prosecutor said.

Police say the charges read in court Monday morning only tell part of McLeaney's story.

"This guy is a violent offender, and we're just lucky that the person he kidnapped was not injured," Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders said.

Jeffersontown Police say McLeaney was impersonating an officer and had blue lights on his car when he stopped a female driver over the weekend.

"Mr. McLeaney approached her with a badge on his breast and a gun," Chief Sanders said. "He asked her to get out of her car."

Police said the victim was getting out of the car, but she also asked for a uniformed officer and a marked car. Police say that's when things got heated.

"He became irate and yanked her out of the car, put her in the back seat and went on," said Major Ken Hatmaker with Jeffersontown Police.

Police say the two ended up at the Cricket store on Taylorsville Road in Jeffersontown. That is where the victim worked.

"He used her key to open the cricket store and used her alarm code to get inside," Chief Sanders said.

The break-in led Jeffersontown Police and LMPD Swat to McLeaney's home.

"Shortly thereafter, the garage door opens and out comes a female running toward the police," Chief Sanders said.

McLeaney has a lengthy criminal history, including a 1990s manslaughter conviction from Nebraska.

He was allowed to enter a diversion program after a burglary conviction earlier this year. Assistant Commonwealth's attorney Jeff Cooke can not talk specifically about McLeaney's case but explained how someone with such a violent criminal history could end up in the diversion program.

"The person that is seeking diversion would have to not been convicted of a felony in the previous ten years, nor have been released from prison, probation or actually custody in the last ten years," Cooke said. 

"In that case, they are available for the diversion program, where they suspend prosecution for specific period of time."

Meanwhile, the owner of the Cricket store was in court and made a statement to the judge about McLeaney.

"This man should have never been on the street in the first place," the owner said. "He is a convicted murderer of a 17-year old girl in 1987, and the only reason we are not looking at murder charges on him today is because of the J-Town police."

McLeaney is being held on a $100,000.00 cash bond. He is expected to be back in court later this month for a pre-trial hearing.

Related:

UPDATE: Police say Louisville man impersonated officer, kidnapped and abused female victim

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