Man in holiday sweater attempts kidnapping
Photo by WNYT Anthony Collins, the accused kidnapper, was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 8. He is currently in Albany County jail without bail.
By Lauren Mineau
University at Albany police (UPD) were notified on Monday Oct. 7, about an incident that occurred on Friday, Oct. 4.
At about 7:55 a.m. a white male, approximately 50 years of age wearing running pants and a holiday sweater attempted to abduct a college age female at a bus stop near Waterbury Hall on UAlbany’s downtown campus.
A knife was used during the attempted abduction and a UAlbany student intervened and the woman being abducted was able to get away.
Around 8:30 a.m. the man appeared again and attempted to abduct another female student at the same bus stop. No knife was displayed in that attempt. He was unable to abduct the second woman and she got away safely.
UPD, the Albany Police Department, the Albany Crime Analysis Center and College of Saint Rose Public Safety are investigating the incident and patrols have been increased in the area.
On Tuesday, Oct. 9, the suspect was identified and taken into police custody. Anthony B. Collins, a 54-year-old City of Albany resident was charged with Menacing, Criminal Possession of a weapon and as of today, Kidnapping in the 2nd degree. He was arraigned and remains in Albany County jail without bail, according to University Police.
The victim of the first incident has come forward although she is still unidentified. An order of protection against Collins has been issued, according to police.
UAlbany student Shannon Straney filmed a video documentary about Collins about a year ago. In the video, Collins discusses living with mental illness and was quoted saying “I’m probably the most normal crazy guy you know.” The video can be found on the ASP blog, blog. timesunion.com/asp.
Police are investigating whether Collins could have been involved with two long-unsolved disappearances of women in Albany. Both Suzanne Lyall in 1998 and Karen Wilson in 1985 went missing and have not been found. Lyall was 19 when last seen March 2, 1998, exiting a CDTA bus at Collins Circle at the UAlbany uptown campus.
Wilson, 22, disappeared March 27, 1985; she was last seen on Central Avenue in Colonie.
University Police advise community members to –
· Do Not Walk Alone. Walk with friends whenever possible.
· If You See Something, Say Something. Be aware of your surroundings. Report any suspicious persons or activity to UPD at (518) 442-3131 or APD at (518) 458-5660.
· Program UPD and APD numbers into your cell phones.