FIRST ON 13: Man will likely face no jail time in November 2022 Saratoga Springs shootout
The man accused of firing a gun in a downtown Saratoga Springs shootout in November 2022 intends to plead guilty to misdemeanor attempted assault and likely will receive no jail time.
Alex Colon is one of three men from Utica accused of punching Vito Caselnova on Broadway at around 3 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2022. The incident escalated into Colon and Caselnova, of Glens Falls, exchanging gunfire, which was seen on surveillance camera footage. After officers responded, they confronted Caselnova, who police said refused multiple commands to drop this weapon. Then they shot him.
Colon, Christopher Castillo and Darius Wright were all charged with misdemeanor attempted assault. Both Castillo and Wright pleaded guilty last month to resolve their cases. Castillo was ordered to pay a $175 fine and $75 in surcharges. Wright was also fined $250.
Colon was permitted to appear virtually from Utica and was represented by attorney Anthony Lafache.
Lafache said his client wants to enter a plea. He is just concerned about the sentence.
“My client was shot six times. He was in the hospital. He had therapy. I hope the sentence would be along the lines of the other gentlemen,” he said.
Colon has a couple of kids that he cares for, according to Lafache. He works as a barber.
“He’s got a lot of pain. He’s lost a lot of dexterity in his hands,” Lafache said.
Judge Jeffrey Wait said he has the discretion to impose a sentence if the DA does not object. Although Colon’s case is not exactly the same as the others, the defendant has no prior history.
“It would be my intention to sentence him in the same way,” he said.
Colon would be fined and receive a one-year conditional discharge, meaning he faces no jail time if he stays out of trouble.
Special prosecutor Bob McCarty did not object. McCarty is the special prosecutor from the Warren County District Attorney’s Office assigned to handle the cases from the incident last year.
Wait said he could not accept a misdemeanor plea virtually, so Colon will have to appear in person. He scheduled a court date for Dec. 19 at 10 a.m.
Caselnova, an off-duty Rutland County sheriff’s deputy, was charged with attempted murder. However, Judge Jim Murphy threw out the 10-count indictment, finding the Saratoga County District Attorney made serious errors when they presented the case to the grand jury.
Murphy wrote in his decision that the prosecutors showed a “demonstrated pattern on unfairness.” He cited the disparity of charges faced by Caselnova and Colon. Murphy also said prosecutors did not instruct the jury that Caselnova’s actions could have been considered self-defense because he believed he was the victim of a gang assault.
The DA is appealing the dismissal.
McCarty said the matter is still pending and said “the ball is in Mr. Colon’s court” as to whether he decides to plead guilty.
McCarty did not explicitly state the fact, but once Colon’s case is resolved, new charges cannot be brought if the case is presented to a grand jury.