Albany Med standoff suspect charged; Faces felony weapons, kidnapping counts, police say

The scene Monday and images released by police of the two weapons recovered.

The scene Monday and images released by police of the two weapons recovered.

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ALBANY – The man at the center of Monday’s lockdown at Albany Medical Center has been formally charged with felony weapons and kidnapping counts, police said Tuesday.

Police also released new information on the incident at the hospital, and what they found at the suspect’s home – the gas stove left on and a candle burning.

No injuries were reported throughout the hours-long incident, at either the hospital or the man’s home.

Arrested was Dino Savoca, 61, of Colonie. He now faces one count each of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree kidnapping, felonies, as well as misdemeanor second-degree menacing, police said.

If convicted of the kidnapping count, Savoca would face up to 25 years in state prison.

Also Tuesday, police identified two weapons found in the room where Savoca was arrested, a previously disclosed BB gun and a second weapon police identified Tuesday as a shotgun.

Police Tuesday also gave new details on the incident that caused the massive facility to go into lockdown as police worked to get Savoca into custody.

The incident began at about 2:40 p.m. Monday as officers responded to reports of a man on the third floor of the hospital had just threatened a transport employee by pointing what appeared to be a handgun at them, police said.

Officers arrived and soon determined the suspect was contained to a single room on the third floor, police said.

Through their investigation, officers learned the suspect was in the room with his 97-year-old mother, who had been scheduled to be transported to another facility for continued care, police said.

“Officers were told that prior to the call, Savoca did not want to leave his mother and pointed what appeared to be a handgun at an individual who had arrived to the patient’s room to transport her to the different facility,” police wrote in a release.

Police then attempted to speak with Savoca over the course of several hours to get him to leave the room and allow personnel to assess and care for his mother, police said.

Savoca, however, refused to exit or allow anyone inside. He even pushed items, including the room’s reclining chair, up against the door to block it, police said.

Then, shortly before 7 p.m., more than four hours after the incident began, members of the department’s Emergency Services Team executed a plan that resulted in officers getting inside and  taking Savoca into custody. Police previously indicated the plan involved a “flash-bang” distraction device used outside the hospital building.

Police also soon found a handgun, later determined to be a BB gun, along with a shotgun inside the room, police said.

Both Savoca and his mother were evaluated medically and were in stable condition.

Police also searched Savoca’s Colonie home and found it filled with natural as after Savoca left the gas stove on, police said. A burning candle and incense were also located nearby, police said.

The Colonie Police Department and Fuller Road Fire Department were notified and responded to assist in assessing the situation and evacuating nearby homes.

Savoca was arraigned Tuesday and ordered held on $50,000 bail.

By Steven Cook

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