Video shows police encounter with man accused of making threats with machete

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was frightening scene: a man threatening people with a machete at an Albuquerque shopping center.

When police finally caught up with him, he was hiding in the bushes. Police weren’t taking any chances, so they sent in the dog.

It was a typical afternoon shopping trip for people until a guy with a machete showed up and started threatening shoppers.

“He’s trying to leave and he looks at me and he says, ‘What, you think that’s funny you whore?'” a witness said.

The woman was in the Family Dollar at Lomas and San Pedro back in late March when she told police Steven Leewright said that to her.

She said when she went to leave, he was outside with the machete and made a throat-cutting gesture toward her. He threatened a Smith’s shopper too.

The 911 calls came in and cops raced out there, but Leewright was gone. He disappeared into the neighborhood nearby.

Police tracked him to a backyard where he was hiding in thick bushes. With rifles and bean-bag guns drawn, they thought it best to send in a K-9.

You can hear Leewright screaming in agony once the dog found him, begging officers to remove the dog.

Police did call off the dog and took Leewright to the hospital. They later found the machete in those bushes where he was hiding.

Police charged Leewright with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

He is still in jail, currently awaiting a psych evaluation to see if he’s competent.

Leewright’s record is a mile long. On it, you’ll find everything from burglary to assault and indecent exposure.

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