Social media posts mentioning school shooters lead to gun charges for Saugerties father & son

The story was updated with additional information Thursday, March 1.

Saugerties Police arrested a father and a son on February 27 after being alerted by Saugerties High School officials to a potential threat sent via Snapchat by 18-year-old Saugerties High senior Connor Chargois. Both Chargois and his father Bruce Chargois, 58, of 5 Sawyerville Terrace, face felony charges of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The father faces an additional charge of obstructing governmental administration for hiding the weapons after first denying their existence in initial interviews.  Also, an order of protection was issued on behalf of the Saugerties Central School District.

The investigation of the complaint turned up weapons including a fully automatic 9mm Uzi and an AR15, as well as “a quantity of ammunition of varying calibers, homemade knives, machine fabricated gun parts, a prototype of a firearm that Connor Chargois had admitted to manufacturing in the basement of the house and a number of completed firearms in both .22 and 9 mm caliber capacities.” Bruce Chargois was released on his own recognizance while Connor posted $10,000 bail.


“I envy Eric and Dylan [the Columbine shooters],” wrote Connor Chargois. “It must have been so f…ing fun. They had the right f…ing idea. I’m so full of rage anymore [sic]. Nothing f…ing matters anymore.”

“I feel as though I’m not the type of person you’d want to call your friend, but I firmly believe that you do want to call me your enemy,” he wrote in later series of messages. “Just remember; when the shit hits the fan, there won’t be any time for mercy.”

Police were tipped off to the possible threat when a Saugerties High student shared screenshots of incriminating Snapchat messages with a teacher on Feb. 21,  the same day as a public forum on school safety spurred by another perceived threat. The teacher brought the information to the Principal, who then informed the School Resource Officer.

With assistance from the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Police Intelligence Agency, Saugerties Detectives were able to verify that Connor Chargois was the source of the postings. This led to the interview of Bruce and Connor Chargois, and the teen admitted to authoring the disconcerting messages; however, both parties denied having weaponry.

“Sometimes I’m accused of being overzealous — you can never be overzealous when you’re protecting the community,” said Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra. “When you take a look at the postings, and there were some other internet pictures of homemade weapons and you start piecing things together it looked like they were lying to us. They were very deceitful throughout the investigation. We kept pushing and pushing and pushing, and when they realized we weren’t going to go away, they started giving out information in dribs and drabs.”

Bruce and Connor Chargois

After denying weapons possession in the initial interview, Bruce Chargois hid his son’s guns within arcade machines at his workplace, Greco Brothers Amusement Co. at 3 Glasco Turnpike. In a subsequent interview on February 27, detectives separated the two parties and gleaned from the son that he did, in fact, own weaponry, leading police to accompany the father to his shop where he surrendered the five weapons that he’d hidden; only one of the weapons was registered. With a search warrant, police uncovered the ammunition, knives and homemade weapons in the Chargois home.

An avid metalworker, Connor Chargois had “purchased the parts [of the guns] individually on the internet, and what he couldn’t buy he made himself.”

“He was a very talented individual,” said Sinagra. “He was just focusing his talent in the wrong direction.”

Both were arraigned in Saugerties Village Court. Bruce Chargois accrued two felony counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and the misdemeanor of obstructing governmental administration; his son was only charged with criminal possession, but according to police further charges are pending, as additional search warrants were being executed at the time the press release was issued.

In a robocall issued by Saugerties Central School District Superintendent Seth Turner on the afternoon of Feb. 28, he reminded parents that “if you see something, say something,” and that all tips will be “investigated thoroughly.”

“On February 20, after I wrote to encourage people to speak up if you see things or know things that are problematic,” said Turner in a press release on the district website. “In this situation, the mantra ‘if you see something, say something’ worked.”

Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright weighed in. “I have said many times before, and I repeat today, that Ulster County is served by a group of outstanding, highly qualified, caring law enforcement professionals…Our goal is to keep all of our citizens safe. The Chargois investigation served as an exemplar of how, if we work together, we can live in a safer world.”

Sinagra indicated he was dismayed that the younger Chargois was free on bail. “Unfortunately we’re in the midst of bail reform in this state,” said Sinagra. “I think we’re missing the point — I don’t think people like this should be out on the street.”

There are 4 comments

  1. George D Heidcamp, sr

    To: BoE President Robert Thomann
    Copy to: Superintendent Seth Turner, School Board and staff

    Mr. Thomann,

    With the recent shooting at the Florida school, the latest in a series of far too many, I am compelled to repeat and reiterate my grave concern regarding the dangers associated with the Riccardi Elementary School being located on a dead-end street.

    As you should know, this is an issue that I had raised several times while on the school board. As you are undoubtedly aware, during my last year on the Board, while you were board president, I expressed those concerns to the entire Board time after time. The fact that the situation is extremely dangerous, a disaster waiting to happen, and desperately needs to be addressed and resolved to avoid such an outcome was pointed out repeatedly.

    You, along with the rest of the Board members, agreed that having a school located on a dead-end street presents potentially dangerous circumstances as ingress and egress is so limited. If the intersection were to be blocked off, with such inadequate access no emergency vehicles would be able to enter. That means no police vehicles, no fire engines and no ambulances! Beside the students and school personnel, there are also fifteen residential homes located on the same dead-end roadway. In addition to the aforementioned disasters, if there were to be a shooting incident at this school, police vehicles, horribly, would be unable to approach the building.

    This issue has been on the table for a long time now. While I was Board president, affirmative action was taken to resolve the problem:

    The BoE approved funds for attorney fees to research this issue;

    Jim Bruno met with the administration and other members of the school board to

    discuss his willingness to turn over the service road between the school and

    Bishop’s Gate as an emergency road in case of such emergency;

    Mr. Bruno also met with and spoke with two residents at the entrance of Bishop’s

    Gate and facilitated an agreement to allow that road to be used as an entry route in the event of an urgent situation, thus allowing emergency vehicles access to Riccardi; and

    The Highway Superintendent agreed to offer his assistance in paving the road, etc.

    All that was needed to “seal the deal,” was a contract and yet, the issue sits, unresolved and apparently not being acted upon at all. Why?

    It is very frustrating to me that you, as board president, have been sitting idly by on this issue while knowing very well of its potential dangers. I have avoided making public comments with respect to this failure on your part so as not to attract or tempt any prospective evildoers, or latent nuts just waiting for an opportunity. However, you show no inclination to act and I can no longer sit silent on this serious matter. If anything happens to any of the Riccardi students, staff or any local residents living on that dead-end street as result of your failure to act, you, as president and the BoE , will be held personally responsible because of your neglect to take the proper action to protect those individuals.

    We all have an obligation and responsibility to protect our children and residents. I urge you as board president to immediately follow through on Mr. Bruno’s offer to open up the service road for emergencies in order to protect the children.

    With that said, I submit the following FOIL request. Please provide me with the following for inspection and/or review:

    All itemized attorney bills, submitted and approved by BoE, for the years 2014, 2015 2016 and 2017;

    All and any e-mails between the BoE president, school board members and superintendent regarding this issue; and

    All and any minutes regarding this issue during 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

    George D. Heidcamp,Sr

  2. George D Heidcamp, Sr

    Follow up—Below are excerpts from the minutes taken for the school board meetings of March 8, 2016, May 10, 2016 and June 14, 2016 relating to alternate emergency access to Riccardi School. The aforementioned meetings were the last meetings held while I was a member of the board. Once I was no longer a board member, the issue was inexplicably dropped from Board discussion. While any explanation for the BoE failure to bring the matter to resolution remains lacking, thier motivation, at least to me, remains suspicious.*

    This is a BoE issue that needs to be finalized now, and in place before a tragedy occurs.

    March 8, 2016 School Board Meeting Superintendent Report
    legal access ongoing in connection with the gifting of a small portion of land between Bishopsgate in Riccardi elementary school to be used for pedestrian traffic or a emergency vehicles
    A MOTION (Hyatt/Schirmer) to APPROVE the following resolutions (agenda item N.5)
    VOTE: Unanimous 9-0
    5. Bishop’s Gate Property -State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Type II Action – Resolution
    WHEREAS, the Board of Education of the Saugerties Central School District (hereinafter “Board” or “District”) is considering the proposed acquisition by gift of certain real property, which consists of an approximately 50’ by 200’ strip of land (hereinafter the “Property”) located between Lots 9 and 10 in the Bishops Gate Subdivision in the Town of Saugerties as shown on Map Number 9428A-1 filed in the Ulster County Clerk’s Office (the “Proposed Action”); and WHEREAS, the Property is located adjacent to real property owned by the Board upon which lies the Riccardi Elementary School; and
    WHEREAS, the Proposed Action is subject to the conduct of due diligence activities including but not limited to a title search, survey and Phase I environmental site assessment of the Property; and
    Board of Education – Reg Mtg Minutes Page 9 of 15 March 8, 2016
    WHEREAS, the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) and its implementing regulations require the Board to undertake a review of the potential environmental impacts, if any, associated with the Proposed Action before approving it, including classifying the action and declaring lead agency; and
    WHEREAS, the Board, under the applicable standards of SEQRA 6 NYCRR Part 617, believes that the scope of the Proposed Action will constitute an Unlisted Action and, therefore, require the Board to declare itself Lead Agency and to prepare an Environmental Assessment Form; and
    WHEREAS, it is the intent of the Board to assume lead agency for the SEQRA review of the Proposed Action; and
    WHEREAS, interested agencies have been identified with regard to the Proposed Action, as set forth in Exhibit “A” annexed hereto:
    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board declares that:
    a. Based upon the record before it under the applicable standards of SEQRA 6 NYCRR Part 617, the Proposed Action is classified as an Unlisted Action;
    b. Under the applicable standards of SEQRA 6 NYCRR Part 617.6, and having completed a Short Environmental Assessment Form (SEAF), the Board shall be lead agency for the SEQRA uncoordinated review of the Proposed Action;
    c. The Board shall circulate the SEAF to the interested agencies identified in Exhibit “A” annexed hereto;
    d. The Board authorizes all action necessary to conduct due diligence activities related to the proposed acquisition of the Property, including the conduct of a title search, survey and Phase I environmental site assessment of
    the Property, with total expenditures for such activities not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00); and
    e. The Board authorizes the Board President to execute all documents in furtherance of this Resolution.

    May 10, 2016 school board meeting
    update on Bishop’s Gate property acquisition (title search completed, environmental site assessment completed, lot line change map completed, all of which is to be reviewed by the district attorney)

    June 14, 2016 school board meeting
    4. Bishop’s Gate Property Acquisition – State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) – Resolution
    Board of Education – Regular Meeting MINUTES Page 10 of 13 June 14, 2016
    WHEREAS, the Board of Education of the Saugerties Central School District (hereinafter “Board” or “District”) is considering the proposed acquisition by gift of certain real property, which consists of an approximately 50’ by 200’ strip of land (hereinafter the “Property”) located between Lots 9 and 10 in the Bishops Gate Subdivision in the Town of Saugerties as shown on Map Number 9428A-1 filed in the Ulster County Clerk’s Office (the “Proposed Action”); and WHEREAS, the Board under the applicable standards of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”), 6 NYCRR § 617.6, declared the action to be Unlisted and designated itself as Lead Agency for the environmental review of the Proposed Action; and
    WHEREAS, the Board has completed a Short Environmental Assessment Form (“SEAF”), and has reviewed all of the information and documentation developed for the Proposed Action:
    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the Saugerties Central School District acting as Lead Agency, in accordance with the applicable standards of SEQRA, 6 NYCRR Part 617, and based upon the record before it, including the general, specific and detailed knowledge regarding the Proposed Action, hereby determines that the Proposed Action will not result in any significant adverse environmental impacts.

    George D Heidcamp, Sr

  3. Friendly Captain of a Modest Boat

    what the heck to these letters from heidcamp have to do with this article?

  4. Nunya

    Once again charged felons are released back on the street immediately in Saugerties. First a Mafia-style beating, now a potential school shooter. Fk this corrupt ass community

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