Photo By Lindsay Wilson
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Wednesday, June 19, 2019, Joseph Koren, 24 of Saratoga Springs was charged with felony Criminal Possession of a Weapon: Loaded Firearm; Criminal Possession Stolen Property; Tampering With Physical Evidence, and a misdemeanor on Resisting Arrest.
Officers from the Saratoga Springs Police Department (SSPD) responded to Hathorn Blvd, just about one and a half miles away from Geyser Road Elementary School. The police were notified around 8:30 a.m. that a man (later identified as Koren) was harassing a paving crew working on Hathorn Blvd.
At 8:45 a.m. the Saratoga Springs District Office was notified by the Saratoga Springs Police Department (SSPD) that there was suspicious activity occurring in the Geyser Crest Neighborhood.
“At that point, we only had faculty and staff in the building, so police recommended that we go into a lockdown so all of our faculty and staff took cover,” said superintendent Michael Patton.
Meanwhile, at the scene, the paving crew had directed the responding officer towards the back of a home on Hathorn Blvd. According to SSPD, Koren was observed to be pointing a weapon at two men in the backyard. The responding officer attempted to control the situation with verbal commands, which went ignored as Koren leaped over a fence.
“Once we get enough cops there, we start doing a search for him. We find the gentleman hiding in some bushes on Tiffany Place at a home there. He does not have the handgun on him at that point,” said Investigations Lieutenant Bob Jillson.
After a thorough search, the officers find the handgun matching their description under gardens near the spot where he was apprehended. The gun was later identified to be a stolen, and fully loaded .38 caliber revolver.
There was a strong police presence at the Geyser Road Elementary, where the school lockdown turned into a lockout once the school board was notified that the suspect was apprehended.
"The busses actually were rerouted to the transportation department which is a few miles away, so the students were safe, away from the building,” said Patton. “At 9:45 once the police department gave us the okay to clear the building, the students were routed back here to the school."
Faculty and staff were at the front of the school greeting the students when the buses arrived. At 10:16 a.m. the pledge of allegiance came across the loudspeaker, as the school continued with their day.
Koren is currently remanded to the Saratoga County Jail on $20,000 cash/ $40,000 bond.