ALBANY, N.Y. — New details are emerging about the man police say tried to abduct two UAlbany students in two separate incidents.
Anthony Collins, 54, is a longtime Albany resident, and as NEWS10 ABC has learned, has long battled mental illness.
He had a few choice words for cameras as he left court Wednesday after pleading not guilty to second degree kidnapping, criminal menacing and a weapons possession. Court papers show Collins put a knife to the first victims back, but fortunately, authorities say another student intervened.
In a documentary made last year by Shannon Straney, she says she interviewed the 54-year old who opened up about his mental illness, sharing that he's a diagnosed Schizoaffective with anxiety and polysubstance abuse issues.
“I am on anti-psychotic medication because I do show signs of you know psycho social behavior you know it's not just the bipolarism. I'm out there for the most part with a lot of things that I think about and do and say. There is an edge to me that is rough, very, very rough. You got to deal with the deck of cards your dealt. I'm probably the most normal crazy guy you know,” he stated during the interview.
“I've always enjoyed myself in life, even though I have a debilitating mental illness I don't let it hold me back. I don't sit at the bus stop and scream from the mountaintop you know I'm certifiably crazy,” he continued. “I'm probably the most normal crazy guy you know and I say if I'm crazy everybody's — crazy because I feel I'm normal. I just have an illness.”
UAlbany police now working with state police to investigate whether or not the 54-year old could have been involved in two long unsolved missing persons cases. Karen Wilson in 1985 and Suzanne Lydall in 1998 — both were ualbany students.
Lieutenant Bob Poisson with the state police says it's still too early to tell.
“Anytime that there is a possible connection we take those investigative steps very seriously and we're looking into any and all connections mr. Collins may have with either of those prior cases. At this time we are not classifying Mr. Collins as a suspect,” he said.