Saugerties contractor accused of stealing manure, tearing up yard

Joe Karolys. (Saugerties Police Department)

Joe Karolys, who has sparred in court with the town of Saugerties over his acceptance of construction and demolition material from downstate and faces criminal charges related to that now-shuttered operation, is in even deeper doo-doo.

After, town police said, making off with a dump truck full of stolen manure from Beaver Kill Farms on 431 Shear Road in Saugerties on the afternoon of March 5, Karolys tore up a portion of the homeowner’s yard and, after he pulled out onto the roadway, sideswiped a vehicle as he fled police that were responding to the larceny call. According to police, the occupant of the struck vehicle wasn’t injured.

A source close to the matter said that Karolys, who lives on one of his dump sites at 1446 Route 212 and owns two more at 33/43 Fel Qui Road and 90 Goat Hill Road, surrendered himself at police headquarters on Monday, March 9. According to the source, police had made multiple attempts to contact his attorney, Melvin T. Higgins. Higgins did not respond to a request for comment.


On Facebook in recent weeks, Karolys had posted two requests for manure. One post read, “Manure wanted: Bull S–t, Chicken S–t, Horse S–t, Sheep S–t, etc. If you have large quantities of manure, I can bring a loader to load my trucks. If it’s mixed with hay, straw or sawdust that is fine. Must be close to Saugerties.”

According to police, Karolys, 35, was charged with three misdemeanors in connection with the incident — petit larceny, fourth-degree criminal mischief and leaving the scene of a property damage auto accident. After processing, he was released with an appearance ticket for town court for April 1.

“It appears to me that [Karolys] feels that he’s above the law and he seems to push the envelope every opportunity he gets,” said Police Chief Joe Sinagra on Tuesday, March 10. “He hasn’t been dumping in Saugerties. We’ve been trying to keep an eye the best he can on all three properties. … He has been working on [remediating] those properties, he has not brought in any new loads.”

There are 8 comments

  1. Jaymes Nohns

    Please, everyone that thinks this man isn’t a bad person from previous comments…… enlighten us all on how great this disgrace to Saugerties is… more time…..Let’s hear it, for the people in the back that didn’t hear it the first time…this guy is a total clown.

  2. Robert E Walters

    Let me tell you what the Freeman & also the Saugerties Times did NOT do: their job. Try calling the farm. Try calling Karolys. Try getting a real story, instead of repeating allegations, like those of Chief Sinagra. Do you really think anyone around here steals horse poop? Aren’t your editorial staff experienced enough to sense that this story stinks, that horse manure is usually given away for free? Because when it all turns out to be BULL, and you published this crap without bothering to find out any independent verification, there might be hell to pay.

    1. Bill H

      They are charges, not mere allegations. But that is all they are, and it does not mean he is guilty of any of them. That remains to be seen, either by his admission of guilt or at a criminal trial. I also agree that this article would be more helpful if it included a statement from someone at the farm, the other party in the car accident (we don’t even know that Karolys is at fault; we just know that the police charge him with leaving the accident). As for Karolys, he should not talk to the press, so we should not expect a quote from him.

      Just because he has brazenly committed previous crimes does not mean that he does not deserve the presumption of innocence regarding these new charges. However, knowing the Saugerties Police Department, I find it hard to believe that they are making this stuff up. But I’ll try to suspend judgement or criticism of Karolys until we see more evidence, or he has his day in court.

        1. Bill H

          With all due respect, Duh, do you imagine Karolys saw the police coming and outran them in his dump truck? In other words, WAS he fleeing from the police? I don’t think it’s a given that he knew the police were coming. This article is much too thin for us to already be confident in the facts.

  3. Bill H

    Something’s not right. If Karolys was suspected of three crimes— petit larceny, property damage, and leaving the scene of an accident— why did the police not go to his home or worrk and arrest him? Why were they apparently taking days attempting to contact his attorney? They don’t need to do that in order to make an arrest. Was Karolys somewhere not at home from March 5 to March 9? Investigations do take time, but I assume that it would take no time to get statements from the farmer and driver of the other car, which is all that is needed to make the arrest.

    I suspect that there are perfectly good answers, so I think the article needs a follow-up. Otherwise it is not fair to Karolys or the police.

Post Your Thoughts