December 09, 1996 12:00 PM

UNLIKE THE DISTRACTED FATHER he played in Home Alone, John Heard seems in no danger of forgetfully leaving his son behind. In fact he is so intent on seeing his 9-year-old Jack that he has been stalking the boy, according to actress Melissa Leo, Jack’s mother. Leo, who plays detective Kay Howard on NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Street, won custody of Jack when she split with Heard seven years ago after a rocky three-year relationship never formalized by marriage. On Nov. 12, Leo filed stalking charges against Heard, 50, in Baltimore. “I fear for the safety of my son and my safety,” Leo told police, adding that she believes Heard may try to kidnap Jack.

According to the complaint filed by Leo, 36, and her boyfriend, ski instructor John Russell, 42, Heard has been parking across the street from Jack’s private school since September and watching his son through binoculars. Russell, who also filed an assault charge against Heard, said he approached the actor on Nov. 11 and told him that the custody agreement between Heard and Leo prohibited him from being near the school. In response, Heard “struck me three times in the chest and neck,” said Russell. The couple also accused Heard of peering into the windows of their house and leaving threatening messages on their answering machine.

The actor—who lives in New York City but has an apartment in Baltimore—surrendered to police Nov. 19, was released after posting a $50,000 bond and is to appear for trial Dec. 17. He refused to comment, but his mother, Helen Heard, of Chevy Chase, Md., says, “There’s no truth in any of this. I’ve never known any man to make such an effort to see his child. But he wasn’t stalking. He wasn’t peeking in windows. She just makes these things up.”

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