A man who police said robbed a Colonie bank Thursday afternoon led police on a high-speed chase up the Northway before he was nabbed after his vehicle crashed with two others on Route 50.
The robbery suspect was taken into custody at gunpoint by state police. Colonie police identified the suspect this morning as Daniel Freeland, 62, of Baltimore.
Route 50 at East Avenue was closed for at least six hours after the accident as a dozen state troopers investigated at the accident scene. Two cars were damaged in the accident. The occupants of the other two cars suffered injuries that did not appear life-threatening, police said.
An ambulance arrived at the scene and transported at least one of the accident victims to the hospital.
Lt. John VanAlstyne of the Colonie Police Department said a man wearing a fake beard entered the Capital Bank and Trust Co. office in the Newton Plaza on Route 9 in Loudonville at 3:30 p.m.
The man, wearing a dark gray jacket and gloves, approached a bank teller and displayed a handgun, VanAlstyne said.
He demanded money and the female teller handed the man an unknown amount of money, which the man placed in a small black bag, police said.
“There were no injuries at the bank,” VanAlstyne said. “He went in and pointed the gun.”
The man ran out of the bank with the money and into the small strip plaza on Route 9 and sped away in a small maroon sport utility vehicle up the Northway. He got off at Exit 15 about 4:20 p.m.
Police said two witnesses saw the man and were able to describe the vehicle and provide police with the numbers of the Maryland license plate on the SUV.
The vehicle description was quickly released to all local police agencies.
Soon after, state police spotted the vehicle going north on I-87 near Exit 14 in Saratoga Springs.
The chase that followed, which included a state police helicopter overhead, went to Exit 15 and then off the Northway onto Route 50 heading into Saratoga Springs.
State police said this morning that a trooper fired two shots at the car after Freeland pointed a gun at him while stopped for a train at a railroad crossing near Exit 16. Freeland did not fire at the trooper, though, state police said.
As the SUV moved at high speed down Route 50 into the city, it struck at least one car at the East Avenue intersection, according to a witness. The impact sent the SUV into the air, spinning and overturning onto Route 50.
“He was going 70 miles an hour down Route 50,” said Skidmore College student Jon Schlossberg of Canton, Mass.
The college senior was just packing his car near his apartment on Covell Avenue, preparing to go home for the holidays after taking his last final exam, when he saw the SUV coming down Route 50, followed by “a posse” of state police and city police cruisers.
“He hit one car and tore off the hood and then flipped over,” Schlossberg said. After the accident, the suspect pulled himself out of the overturned SUV.
As soon as the suspect emerged, state police and city police surrounded him, some with their handguns drawn, others holding rifles, the student said.
The suspect was cuffed and placed into a state police car at the scene.
Freeland is being held without bail in the Albany County jail on charges of robbery, grand larceny and criminal possession of a firearm, Colonie police said. State police said he will face additional charges of felony menacing a police officer, felony second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.
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Categories: Schenectady County