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Police arrest Lee after a reported home invasion

BONNE TERRE – Police say the man arrested after a reported home invasion in Bonne Terre Friday was the same man arrested after exposing himself at a local restaurant Jan. 9.

Vincent Lee, 35, of St. Louis, was charged Saturday with attempted forcible sodomy, two counts of felonious restraint, one count of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree assault, and one count of first-degree burglary. His bond was set at $250,000 surety.

According to a press release, at about 2:45 p.m. Friday, Bonne Terre police officers were dispatched to a residence on Norwood Drive for a reported home invasion.

When officers arrived, they found an elderly female bleeding from a cut to her hand. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital for treatment to several cuts to her hand. The elderly man refused treatment.

Bonne Terre officers, with the assistance of St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department, Terre Du Lac Police and Desloge Police, began searching the area in an attempt to find the man who assaulted them.

A city worker spotted a man who fitted the suspect’s description walking on Benham Street toward Young Street. Officers found the man and took him into custody without incident.

After victims were able to positively identify the man, Lee was taken to the county jail.

The victims said Lee had assaulted both of them and tried to sexually assault the female. Both victims were able to fight back. After the male victim managed to get a phone to call 911, Lee ran from the house.

The press release states it appears Lee had taken a cab from St. Louis to Bonne Terre to stay at a local homeless shelter. Lee told police he only came to Bonne Terre because he had stayed at the shelter once before last year.

The cab dropped him off in town and he attempted to find the shelter on foot.

“He failed to find it, somehow ending up on the front porch of the victim’s home which was on the other side of town from the homeless shelter,” the press release states. The shelter is located on Grove Street.

The home invasion appears to be “a crime of opportunity,” the press release states. Anyone with information about the case, can contact Bonne Terre Police by calling Central Dispatch at 573-431-3131.

Lee was arrested for indecent exposure in Farmington on Jan. 9. Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker said officers arrested the man along State Route 221 just off U.S. 67 at 1:40 p.m. following a call to dispatchers stating a male had exposed himself in the county jail lobby and at a nearby restaurant.

Lee had just been released from the jail on a traffic charge and exposed himself as he was leaving. While police were looking for him, they received reports of a man exposing himself at a nearby restaurant.

A witness sitting in the restaurant said the man first stood in a corner of the dining room and fondled himself, at which time the witness’ wife went to notify management. Before they could get out from behind the counter the man reportedly walked across the room and up to a couple sitting at a table who had apparently not seen his earlier activity. The witness said the man repeated his action, at which time the older male sitting at the table began to stand up.

According to the witness, the restaurant’s owner entered the room and immediately began demanding the man leave the restaurant. When the man failed to immediately stop what he was doing, the manager reportedly ushered him out the front door.

By the time police arrived the man had made it across the parking lot and was headed toward a nearby convenience store. Officers took him into custody without further incident and transported him back to the jail where his bond was set at $160.

It appears Lee pleaded guilty to misdemeanor second-degree sexual misconduct in December in St. Louis. It also appears he has felony convictions for drugs, first-degree robbery, armed criminal action, felonious restraint.

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