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Police: Civilians stopped attempted murder at Colonie salon

Police: Civilians stopped attempted murder at Colonie salon

Police: Salon patrons, employees summoned help during knife attack
Police: Civilians stopped attempted murder at Colonie salon
Photographer: provided photo

COLONIE -- A Scotia man is facing charges, including attempted murder, after he attacked his wife with a knife Thursday afternoon at Beauty & Bliss Salon on Central Avenue, according to Colonie police.

Thomas J. Caulfield, 51, of 763 Sacandaga Road, has been arraigned on charges of second-degree attempted murder and aggravated criminal contempt, both felonies, as well as two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

Caulfield was arrested after police responded to 911 calls about a man attacking a woman with a knife at the salon at 4:36 p.m. Thursday, according to a police report.

By the time police arrived, the woman had been stabbed and Caulfield had been subdued by civilians, according to police reports.

Denise Caulfield, 49, who works at the salon, was taken to Albany Medical Center and placed in the intensive care unit. Colonie police on Friday morning said there was no update available on her condition.

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Caulfield is a 1986 graduate of Niskayuna High School and a breast cancer survivor. A GoFundMe page was launched Friday by the salon, with a goal of raising $20,000 to help Caulfield with medical expenses and income support for her family while she recovers.

Thomas Caulfield was also treated at Albany Medical Center for what police said were self-inflicted knife wounds, though he was released from the hospital at 3:30 a.m. Friday before being arraigned and sent to Albany County Jail, police said.

The criminal contempt charge was filed because Denise Caulfield had a no-contact order of protection against her husband that was granted after a June 18 domestic violence incident, according to Colonie police. He was charged with third-degree criminal mischief, a felony, and the misdemeanors of second-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree harassment after the earlier altercation. He allegedly repeatedly rammed his vehicle into his wife's car while she was still inside it and parked at a relative's home in Scotia, police said.

She had driven to the relative's house after a verbal argument with her husband, who had also sent her threatening text messages, police said. At one point during that incident, Thomas Caulfield allegedly left his vehicle and threatened to kill Denise Caulfield and her family, police said.

Police said that, during the knife attack, the salon was full of patrons and employees, who summoned help and stopped the attack after getting the attention of two men who were passing by the business. The men were able to disarm Caulfield and detain him until police arrived, according to the police report.

"All of their efforts prevented this from being a more serious or fatal attack, and they have our utmost respect and gratitude for their heroic actions,"  the police report states.

The men's identities were not disclosed by police.

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