Saratoga Springs

Two more violent incidents occur on Caroline Street in Saratoga Springs early Sunday

Downtown scene on Caroline Street after Travers Day at Saratoga Race Course last summer.

Downtown scene on Caroline Street after Travers Day at Saratoga Race Course last summer.

SARATOGA SPRINGS City and state police responded to two violent incidents in the area of Caroline Street and Maple Avenue early Sunday morning, according to Saratoga Springs Police Department spokesman Lt. Robert Jillson.

A fight broke out around 2:30 a.m., which led to several arrests on charges of disorderly conduct. At about the same time, officers became aware of a stabbing victim in the area as well, Jillson said. The man was transported to Saratoga Hospital and then Albany Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Jillson said no arrest had been made yet related to the stabbing.

Jillson said investigators are looking into whether the incidents are related. He said officers were reviewing footage from city cameras in the area, as well as requesting footage from businesses in the area, including those on the corner – Gaffney’s Restaurant & Bar and The Saratoga City Tavern. That work was expected to continue into Monday.

Caroline Street has been the location of violence on several occasions in the first several months of the year, including another stabbing and another fight in the same area.

Just hours into 2022, a 28-year-old was stabbed inside Gaffney’s, according to a Jan. 5 city police statement. Within weeks, an Albany man got into an altercation with Gaffney’s bouncers after being thrown out, then allegedly swung a heavy metal stanchion into the face of a one of the bar’s employees, police said in a Feb. 15 Daily Gazette story.

The Daily Gazette reported on March 15 that two more incidents occurred in the first six days of March, as five people were arrested on March 6 in connection to a fight that left three city police officers injured. The prior night, an Amsterdam man was stopped for a traffic violation at Spring and Circular streets, and subsequently arrested upon the discovery of an illegal firearm with an illegal clip. Public Safety Commissioner James Montagnino said at the time that the man had told two witnesses that he was going to Gaffney’s to shoot up the place and settle an earlier fight.

Montagnino met with area bar owners on several occasions in March to discuss violence concerns along Caroline Street, including a March 14 sit down including his deputy Jason Tetu, Gaffney’s co-owner Justin Manfro and another representative from the business. While that particular meeting didn’t lead to solutions, Montagnino told The Daily Gazette then that his office and the bar agreed to work together. 

A statement from the bar at the time struck a similar tone, “Earlier today, we met with city officials to discuss how we can work together more cohesively to support Caroline Street. We look forward to continuing these conversations in a positive manner. Gaffney’s has always remained committed as ever to ensuring a safe environment for our patrons and artists.”

Later that week, Montagnino told the Gazette the idea of hiring a security company to cordon off Caroline Street at certain times and using metal detectors and wands and conducting ID checks upon entry was “moving forward.” He said it was in the planning stage, as details still needed to be worked out.

The idea has received pushback, including that the security checks could violate patrons’ fourth amendment rights.

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