Utica man admits to attempted assault in downtown Saratoga Springs fight

One of the three Utica men involved in a fight with an off-duty Vermont sheriff’s deputy in downtown Saratoga Springs a year ago has resolved his case with a fine. 

Darius Wright pleaded guilty in Saratoga Springs City Court on Thursday to misdemeanor attempted assault. He said he was fined $250. Wright had no further comment beyond stating his sentence after leaving court.

Wright, along with Alexander Colon and Christopher Castillo, got into a fight with Glens Falls resident Vito Caselnova on Nov. 20, 2022. That incident escalated into an exchange of gunfire between Colon and Caselnova, according to police. 

Colon and Castillo also have been charged with attempted assault. They were scheduled to be in court as well, but their cases were adjourned until Nov. 21 at 9 a.m. for a conference.

Caselnova had been charged with multiple felony counts including the top count of attempted murder. After the gunfire, Saratoga Springs Police officers responded to the scene and ordered Caselnova to drop his weapon. After they said he refused repeated commands, they shot him.

However, Saratoga County Court Judge Jim Murphy threw out the indictment in September on the grounds that prosecutors were unfair in their presentation the case to the grand jury. One of the Murphy’s points was the disparity in the serious of charges that Caselnova faced compared with Colon. Both men were accused of firing weapons.

Also, Caselnova’s attorneys had submitted motions arguing that their client had acted in self-defense. He was a victim of a gang assault and feared that his girlfriend would be kidnapped, claiming that one of the men said “get the girl.”

The Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office said it plans to appeal Murphy’s decision dismissing the indictment.