ALBANY, N.Y. – A local man accused in the attempted abduction of two women near UAlbany entered a not guilty plea to kidnapping and weapons charges in court on Tuesday.
Anthony Collins, 54, of Albany, was arraigned on one count of felony Kidnapping in the second-degree, and one count of misdemeanor Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the fourth-degree in the Supreme Court of Albany County on Tuesday afternoon.
The indictment alleges on October 4, 2013 in the area of Western Avenue and O'Leary Boulevard in the City of Albany, the defendant attempted to abduct a victim by directing her to walk in the direction of his residence while holding a knife to her back. A UAlbany student, Joseph Jackson, intervened and the woman was able to get on the bus and away from the area.
Then around 8:30 a.m. police say the man again appeared to attempt an abduction of another female student at the bus stop near Waterbury Hall. In that attempt, police say no knife was displayed, he was unable to get behind the woman and the woman left safely.
One victim has come forward and identified Collins, but Inspector Aran Mull with University Police says the second victim has yet to come forward.
Collins pleaded not guilty and was remanded to the Albany County Correctional Facility without bail.
In a documentary made last year by Shannon Straney, she says she interviewed the 54-year old who opened up about his mental illness, sharing that he's a diagnosed Schizoaffective with anxiety and polysubstance abuse issues.
"I am on anti-psychotic medication because I do show signs of you know psycho social behavior you know it's not just the bipolarism. I'm out there for the most part with a lot of things that I think about and do and say. There is an edge to me that is rough, very, very rough. You got to deal with the deck of cards your dealt. I'm probably the most normal crazy guy you know," he stated during the interview.
"I've always enjoyed myself in life, even though I have a debilitating mental illness I don't let it hold me back. I don't sit at the bus stop and scream from the mountaintop you know I'm certifiably crazy," he continued. "I'm probably the most normal crazy guy you know and I say if I'm crazy everybody's -- crazy because I feel I'm normal. I just have an illness."
UAlbany police now working with state police to investigate whether or not the 54-year old could have been involved in two long unsolved missing persons cases. Karen Wilson in 1985 and Suzanne Lydall in 1998 -- both were UAlbany students.
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