QUEENSBURY - The former police officer who held police at bay in his home for hours after crashing through the glass door of a neighbor's home one day last spring apologized Wednesday as a judge put him on probation for 5 years.
Aleksander Michalski accepted responsibility for his actions as Warren County Judge John Hall sentenced him for the dramatic standoff at his Glens Falls home last March 30.
"I feel sick about the whole thing," Michalski told Hall.
Michalski said he plans to live in New York City with relatives. Hall ordered him to take part in mental health treatment as directed, which is to include participation in a program on Staten Island.
Michalski, 53, pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary, a felony, in January, for the events that precipitated a 6-1/2-hour standoff at his West Boylston Street home.
He is a former New York City police officer and U.S. Army veteran of the Desert Storm conflict who moved to Glens Falls after retiring from the NYPD in the late 1990s.
The standoff ended when officers wearing body armor and toting assault rifles stormed his home and took him into custody.
He had several arrests in the months before the incident for a number of bizarre charges as his mental health seemingly spiraled downward.
But on March 30, after police went to his home to arrest him for not appearing in court on charges that he hit a man walking his dog and threatened the man with a knife, he fled out the back door of the home and smashed through the back door of a neighbor's home with a hatchet.
He was naked at the time, and chased a woman from the home yelling, "I'm going to get you." She fled and was not hurt.
His lawyer, Garfield Raymond, said Michalski had stopped taking medication for mental illness in the months before the standoff.
Michalski spent nearly 10 months in Warren County Jail awaiting disposition of the charges. He was released from jail to an in-patient mental health treatment program in Queens for military veterans and police officers after his guilty plea Jan. 26.
Hall said he received a report from that facility that Michalski completed the program he entered and he was "successfully discharged."
Michalski was also directed to make $400 restitution for the neighbor's door, and orders of protection were issued for the victims in his cases.
Michalski could face a state prison sentence of up to 7 years on the felony burglary count if he violates probation.
The plea deal in Warren County was expected to be merged with one on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child in Colonie that was filed in September 2009 after he allegedly lured a young girl in his car at a church event.