Dalton Hayes, 18, and his 13-year-old girlfriend made headlines when they allegedly embarked on an interstate crime spree, involving stolen vehicles, destroyed property and forged checks. The teen sweethearts were dubbed a “modern-day Bonnie and Clyde” by the media after they left their small, western Kentucky hometown and allegedly evaded police for two weeks.

WATCH: Jailhouse Interview: Kentucky Teen Accused In Crime Spree Says He Was Engaged To 13-Year-Old

In an exclusive interview with Dr. Phil, Hayes, who was set to be presented to the grand jury on prior burglary and theft charges the day after he went on the run, denies that is why they left. He claims he only left Kentucky to protect his girlfriend, who he says told him she was being abused at home -- an allegation her family absolutely and completely denies.


“Her family reported her missing before we left. I told her, ‘Let me take you home, and then I’ll come get you, and everything will be alright,’” Hayes tells Dr. Phil in the video above. “She latched on to me kind of like a pitbull, and she cried. And that’s when she told me, ‘Please don’t take me home.’ I said, ‘Well, I have court tomorrow.’ I said, ‘Can you hide out until tomorrow?’ And she advised me, no, that she was going to leave. So my first instinct is forget about court; I’m going with her. I’m going to keep her safe. And that’s what I tried to do.”


“Was this a situation where you’re saying you kind of went with her, instead of her going with you?” Dr. Phil asks.


“Yes,” Hayes replies. “People took it all out of proportion. I did not force her. She’s the one who told me that she was running, that she did not want to go home.”


“But she was 13,” Dr. Phil points out.


“I had no clue,” Hayes says. “She did not tell me she was 13 until we left my house.”

WATCH: 18-Year-Old Who Went On The Run With 13-Year-Old Girlfriend: ‘I Knew We Were Going To Get Caught’

In the video above, Hayes tells Dr. Phil where he and his girlfriend were planning on going and if they had ever planned on returning to Kentucky. This episode of Dr. Phil airs Tuesday. Check here to see where you can watch.