Utica man gets no jail time in Saratoga Springs shootout

Man who engaged in shootout gets conditional discharge

Man who engaged in Saratoga Springs shootout gets conditional discharge

The Utica man accused of firing a gun in a downtown Saratoga Springs shootout pleaded guilty on Tuesday and received no jail time.

Alex Colon, 29, is one of three men from Utica who got into a fight with Vito Caselnova on Nov. 20, 2022 on Broadway. The incident escalated with both men firing guns, which was seen on video surveillance.

Judge Jeffrey Wait sentenced Colon to a one-year conditional charge. If he stays out of trouble, he will not face any jail time. If he is arrested again, Colon could face up to 90 days in jail. He also had to pay a $200 surcharge and a $50 DNA fee.

Colon was charged with attempted assault. When Wait was reading off the charge that alleged he repeatedly assaulted Caselnova. Colon said he did not punch Caselnova.

“They didn’t land,” Colon said. 

His attorney, Anthony Lafache, said previously that he was shot six times and had extensive physical therapy. He works as a barber and as lost some physical dexterity in his hands.

Colon was the last of the three Utica men to plead guilty. Christopher Castillo and Darius Wright also resolved their cases with conditional discharges and fees.

Caselnova, an off-duty Rutland Couty sheriff’s deputy from Glens Falls, was facing multiple charges including attempted murder. After officers responded to the scene, they ordered him to drop his weapon. After police said he refused multiple commands, they shot him.

However, Judge Jim Murphy dismissed the indictment against Caselnova on the grounds that prosecutors made serious flaws when they presented the case to the grand jury and demonstrated a pattern of unfairness. They also did not instruct the jury that Caselnova’s actions could have been considered self-defense to prevent kidnapping or attempted kidnapping.

The DA is appealing the dismissal.

Editor’s Note: The story has been clarified to state that the grand jury was not instructed on a justification of self-defense to prevent a kidnapping or attempted kidnapping.