BALLSTON SPA - A Saratoga Springs man was sentenced this past week in a weapons case that led to an elementary school being placed on lockout, Saratoga County District Attorney's officials said.
Joseph P. Koren, 24, was sentenced to five years in state prison after he pleaded guilty earlier to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a felony.
Koren was arrested June 19, and later admitted he possessed a loaded .38 caliber revolver in a neighbor's yard as he attempted to flee police, officials said.
Police responded to a call of a suspicious person on Hathorn Boulevard about 8:30 a.m., with a paving crew reporting it had been harassed. The paving crew directed the responding officer to a backyard where a man later identified as Koren was observed pointing a black handgun at two other men, authorities said previously.
Saratoga Springs officer Adam Dingman was the first to find Koren after the incident and Koren initially repeatedly refused the officer's commands to drop the revolver and keep his hands within sight, officials said.
District Attorney Karen Heggen, after Koren's sentencing, commended Dingman's "extreme restraint and experienced judgment" that resulted in a peaceful ending to the incident.
"Watching the body camera video of the interaction between Officer Dingman and the defendant sends chills down your spine," Heggen said in a statement. "The level of danger that the defendant created to the public, responding law enforcement and himself when he repeatedly refused to drop his gun and instead fled through a suburban neighborhood can not be understated."
Koren can also be seen on the video more than once reach toward the revolver as he fled, Heggen said.
"My office is grateful to work with such well-trained, capable law enforcement professionals," Heggen said.
The incident led to an hour-long lockout at Geyser Crest Elementary School, which was about a quarter mile from Koren. Students had yet to arrive, so buses were rerouted to a district transportation building.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Charles Bucca.