Someone snatched Robin! Bathorse’s trusted sidekick, Robin, who was a robin, has been boosted from its roost next to the crimefighting caped steed on Market Street. Bathorse and Robin, by Mike LaPeruta, are part of the Saugerties Chamber of Commerce’s Galloping Around Saugerties art project, which features a host of fiberglass horses decorated by area artists in honor of the Saugerties Stallions, the local entry into the Perfect Game College Baseball League.
Dastardly individuals also punched out the popular wrapped chocolate horse Wonka, also located on Market Street.
Police chief Joseph Sinagra has put patrol officer Corey Tome on the case, and he’s pouring over hours and hours of surveillance tape from the camera located atop M&T Bank, which has a good view of the damaged horses. He hopes to identify the individuals who committed these crimes.
“This is very upsetting, very disrespectful,” said local artist Chelsea Bisignano, who created Wonka. “It feels like a personal attack on me. I know it’s not, but it [the horse] bout two months to make.”
Bisignano said she will be able to repair the broken fiberglass but would probably wait until the September auction of the horses.
“I got a call from the chamber telling me about the theft of Robin,” said an angry LaPeruta. “They really had to work at getting Robin. I used a drill bit inserted into the bottom or Robin, and attached it to the sculpture [so] that made it really difficult to remove.”
LaPeruta said that he too would be able to replace Robin when it gets closer to the September auction.
Sinagra said vandals also tried to remove another horse from a Main Street location by unscrewing some of the bolts that hold in place on the stand. “The DPW managed to tighten back up,” Sinagra added.
Bisignano said her sister’s sculpture Endor, located on Main Street, has been damaged by people leaning on it. “They cracked it and rain got in and damaged it from the inside.
Peggy Schwartz, chamber co-chair, said members of the chamber were livid over the damage to the horses. When the police catch those who did it, the “chamber is ready to sign formal complaints against them.”
“I hope these people get caught,” she said. “Creating these works of art is a community project. These artists give their time to support art in the community, and now this ….”
Damaging the horses has a trickle-down effect, Schwartz thought. Money raised from the auctioning of the horses goes to support the artists, supports the chamber, and goes towards scholarships presented by the chamber to high-school students.
It also goes to the Finger Fund, used to help families and individuals in the community in need. “If someone needs help to pay for heat, or food this program helps,” Schwartz said.
“So these individuals are harming their own community by damaging the horses,” she added.
Bisignano suggested that maybe in the future the horses might be placed in storefronts where they would be protected rather than put out on the street.