Jury to weigh attempted murder charge in Saratoga Springs knife attack

June 06, 2019 07:16 PM

BALLSTON SPA - Cendno Rahaman, 29, of Schenectady could go to prison for a long time for what happened at 4 a.m. on August 13.

Three people, two men and one woman, were walking up Caroline Street in Saratoga Springs, on their way home from a bar when they had a confrontation with Cendno Rahaman and his brother. 


The Rahaman family is originally from Guyana. The brother claimed that someone made racist slurs, saying something about "Bombs over Baghdad." 

As police describe it and surveillance video shows, the Rahamans follow after the three and have a confrontation with them.

The initial incident involved mostly pushing and shoving, but when that was done, prosecutors say Cendno Rahaman wasn't. They say he pulled out his knife and chased after Jake Ponessi, Josh Kalloo, and Laura Gallo. Gallo suffered a cut on the wrist, but Ponessi got the worst of it - cuts to his arm, face and head, including his temporal artery.

"Their lives changed like that," said Assistant District Attorney Charles Bucca, as he snapped his fingers. "When they encountered an angry, violent, belligerent, drunk man with a knife, when they encountered Cendno Rahaman."

The attack ended after Kalloo hit Rahaman over the head with a wine bottle. Rahaman walked away and threw the knife into the stairway of a Caroline Street restaurant.

Rahaman's attorney, Adam Parisi, told the jury his client was too drunk to know what he was doing, noting he couldn't even tell it wasn't the three alleged victims who shouted racist slurs.

"These two knuckleheads - meaning the Rahamans, can't even figure out who's insulting them, but that's what drunk people do," said Parisi.

Prosecutors concede that Rahaman was drunk, but say he wasn't too drunk to know what he was doing when he attacked the victims or when he discarded the knife.

If convicted of all counts - including attempted murder, assault and attempted assault, Rahaman could be sentenced to roughly 60 years in prison.


Mark Mulholland

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