Albany man charged with unlawful imprisonment, stalking at Crossgates

GUILDERLAND — A 34-year-old Albany man was charged today with second-degree unlawful imprisonment and two counts of fourth-degree stalking at Crossgates Mall in Guilderland.

At about 7:19 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, Jamel L. Jones “unlawfully entered the women’s bathroom” at the Regal Cinemas in Crossgates Mall where he restrained one victim and placed her and a second victim “in fear for their safety,” according to a release from the Guilderland Police Department.

Jones was arraigned in Guilderland town court by Judge John Bailey and released.

The arrest comes just two days after Pyramid Management, which owns Crossgates Mall, and the Guilderland Police announced an agreement to increase police patrols at the mall, which in the last two months has had several violent incidents.

Pyramid will pay for two new police officers for the town and, in return, the police department will expand the hours of two officers who are currently stationed at Crossgates on an as-available basis, Deputy Chief Curtis Cox told The Enterprise earlier this week.

On Feb. 14, there was an assault at the mall, near Best Buy, where one woman stabbed another woman she knew.

There have been three brawls at Crossgates over the past two months, two of them caught on videos that were then posted to social media. One of those was on Christmas Eve in the Beef Jerky Outlet, the other on Jan. 26 outside lululemon athletica. 

A third, which was not reported by other media but which Guilderland Police have confirmed, happened Jan. 11, starting at the mall entrance to Burlington Coat Factory and then moving throughout the store, with people throwing signs and a stroller. One local resident contacted The Enterprise to say that she and others, including her 73-year-old mother, had hidden in a storage closet until the fight ended.

In November 2016, a gun was fired in Crossgates Mall, causing panicked shoppers to flee and resulting in a lockdown while police searched the premises. One young man was acquitted of several charges including possessing a firearm, in the incident, but convicted of reckless endangerment. The prosecution in the case said the shooting was gang-related.

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