LATHAM, N.Y. – A Loudonville man with a sword, who led police on a multi-county chase, remains in the hospital after police say he was shot by a trooper.
Yesterday state police released more details on the suspect, 19-year-old Michael Messina, who police say threw bottles from his vehicle at a patrol car and brandished a sword in front of a trooper.
It was a bizarre encounter that started a little before 7p.m. on Friday night on I-87 in Halfmoon.
State police say a driver passing by started throwing an energy drink and other objects at a trooper conducting a traffic stop on the side of the road. According to police, that trooper tried to stop the man, who police say took off. Then a chase started down I-87 southbound.
“His operation was extremely reckless. That’s why we ended up terminating some of the pursuits to protect the public,” said Sate Police Captain Scott Coburn.
Police say the driver, Michael Messina’s speeds reached near 100 mph, and they believe he set out to harm police.
“During the pursuit, Colonie dispatch said he wanted to kill cops and was armed with an AK-47 and handgun,” said Coburn.
Around 7:15p.m., police say an armed robbery was also reported at a liquor store in Colonie on Central Avenue of a suspect getting away in the same vehicle that was involved in the chase.
So, Colonie police got involved in the car chase to try and stop Messina once again.
“During pursuit, the operator continued to throw things including what appeared to be the stolen liquor bottle,” Coburn said.
By 8p.m., police say multiple agencies from several different jurisdictions were involved in the chase.
It finally came to an end around 8p.m. on I-890 after police deployed a stringer to flatten the suspects front tires. However, police say Messina didn’t stop there.
“He climbed out of the passenger side with a sword he used during the robbery, jumped over the guard rail, went down an embankment, and into a body of water,” said Coburn.
Messina was followed by a state trooper. He crossed a stream four feet deep and then turned toward the trooper.
“He turned around, raised the sword above his head as if he was going to strike the trooper, and the trooper fired one round from his gun, striking the subject,” Coburn said.
Police say Messina was taken to Albany Medical Center where he is in stable condition.
Police say the Schenectady County District Attorney has been advised and the criminal investigation into this matter is ongoing.