Police: Incoherent barefoot man tried to force his way into North York home

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Joseph E. Leininger

An erratic York City man who police suspect was high on drugs tried to force his way inside a North York home last weekend, cursing and screaming that people were trying to kill him, according to court documents.

But police said no one was actually chasing or trying to kill the man.

Joseph E. Leininger was barefoot when he started pounding on the front door of a home in the 600 block of North George Street in North York about 10:40 p.m. Saturday, Northern York County Regional Police said.

He made his way through the first of two entrance doors, which was unlocked, police said, and was trying to force his way inside by pushing on an interior entrance door, but the residents were able to keep it closed, according to charging documents. 

The residents inside called 911, and a responding officer found Leininger still screaming about people trying to kill him and still trying to force his way inside, documents state.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Leininger had pulled down a curtain in the vestibule, which became stained with blood coming from a serious injury to the big toe of his left foot, police said.

'Incoherent': "He repeatedly spoke in a mumbling, incoherent manner," Officer Tanner Tyson wrote in charging documents. "He was unable to sit or stand still throughout the incident and was sweating heavily even though air temperatures were around 40 degrees, all of which I know through training and experience to be signs of narcotics use."

Leininger told Tyson that he had been chased for several days by people who were trying to kill him.

Leininger, 44, of the 1100 block of Elm Street, remains in York County Prison on $10,000 bail, charged with the third-degree felony of criminal trespass and the summaries of public drunkenness and criminal mischief.

Prior to being arraigned, he was taken to UPMC Memorial Hospital to be treated for his foot injury, police said.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.