Hammer attack charged on Thruway

WARNERS — A Utica man is accused of using a hammer to try to rob a service area gas station on the Thruway in Onondaga County early Monday morning.

The gas station attendant fought back, and authorities said 22-year-old Denis Albegic was taken into custody.

Albegic is first accused of burglarizing a liquor store in Utica the evening before, where he stole a bottle of vodka and fled, according to state police. Albegic got on the Thruway and drove west before stopping at the Warners rest area at about 4 a.m.

Troopers said Albegic filled his tank and then wanted to get away without paying, so he took a hammer into the gas attendant’s booth and used it to strike the man attendant. Troopers said the attendant fought back, was able to disarm Albegic and call 9-1-1.

Albegic is charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, fourth-degree possession of a weapon and driving while intoxicated, troopers said.

Charges are also pending in connection to the burglary of the liquor store. Authorities said he was arraigned and sent to Onondaga County Jail in lieu of $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 bond. He is scheduled to reappear in court on June 4.