Man accused of following women, children around retailer facing new charges in Colonie

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It was a Target in Clifton Park where one mother says she felt panicked and afraid for her young child as she was being followed. She isn’t the only one who says they had the same experience at the store.

Patricia Mercogliano, of Clifton Park, says she was shopping at Target in Clifton Park in April with her 8-month-old son. She says she noticed Gerald Garrity, 75, of Albany, N.Y., watching her.

She says as she continued to shop, Garrity followed her to multiple sections of the store, showing up in every aisle she was in for at least 30 minutes.

“I had the chills you know. I just had the feeling of something is not right.”

Mercogliano began to panic and left.

“He pretty much just walked. He had his hands you know like in front of his belt buckle.”

Two weeks later when she was with a friend she says Garrity was there and followed them throughout the store.

“Made me double think of actually going out in public. I went and bought pepper spray to carry with me after the incident.”

The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office arrested Garrity and say so far it’s reported that he followed four women while they were with their children.

He is now facing multiple charges of harassment.

Mercogliano says she wanted to speak out so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“Every time I rounded an aisle, I’m looking behind me trying to see where he is and just waiting for him to pop around the corner. Was this guy recording secretly? Was he trying to like size up trying to take my child?”

Garrity is now facing multiple charges in Colonie after police say he was following women and children around a Tarrget in the Northway Mall and Hannaford in Colonie. He is facing three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, three counts of 1st degree Harassment, and one count of Public Lewdness in Colonie Thursday.

Garrity was arraigned and bail was set at $10,000.

His next hearing is scheduled for July 20.

Police are asking you to call them if you have been harassed or followed by Garrity.

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