Police: Man tried to strangle woman outside Colonie elementary school

February 16, 2017 06:00 PM

COLONIE - A Saddlewood Elementary School worker claims she was grabbed in the school's parking lot.

Colonie police say the suspect tried to strangle the woman as she left work and was heading to her car.

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Police got the call around 8 p.m. Wednesday night. They responded immediately. Right now, they're still searching for the suspect.

Police say the attack took place in the side parking lot of Saddlewood Elementary School in Colonie near the dumpsters. They say the victim, a female custodial worker, was on her way out to her car when the suspect went on the attack.

“She pushed away from him and I believe she tried to poke him with her keys that she had in her hand,” said Lt. Robert Winn of the Colonie Police Department.

Fortunately, police say she was able to break free, jump into her car locked the doors and drove off. The suspect took off.

Police and K-9 units from Schenectady Police and New York State Police searched the area, but didn’t find him.

The incident was not captured on surveillance video. Police say that portion of the school didn't have one. Investigators are working with a vague description of the suspect.

“White male approximately 30 years old, 5'5" or 5'6" thin build, did have blond hair that at least was hanging down from either a sweatshirt or a jacket.” said Winn. 

School officials couldn't talk too much about an open investigation, but they say the incident is being taken very seriously. They sent out a letter to the school community saying they're reviewing safety measures with police.

“As a school district we're taking steps to make sure we're doing everything we can to make sure our buildings are safe. Not just during the school day but at night when we have continuing ed. when we have different activities going on in the buildings,” said South Colonie Schools Superintendent Jonathan Buhner.

School officials say they are also looking at enhancing surveillance capabilities at the school. There is no word on a motive for the attack. Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to give them a call.


WNYT Staff

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