SAUGERTIES – Robert Guarino, a 38-year-old resident of the Anderson Center for Autism in Saugerties has been arrested 14 times since April 1, and Police Chief Joseph Sinagra blames the new laws for the repeated arrests. Guarino has previously been charged with fighting and breaking windows at the facility.
Guarino’s 13th arrest occurred at 5:49 p.m. on July 16 when police were summoned to the center for reports that Guarino was breaking windows.
Guarino was taken into custody and arraigned in Saugerties Justice Court. At the arraignment, Guarino was served with an order of protection on behalf of the victims at the Center. Guarino was issued an appearance ticket and turned over to staff from the facility.
At 9:51 p.m. that evening, Saugerties police returned to the center for reports of Guarino breaking more windows.
Investigating officers determined that the subject had punched a staff member in the face, broke the staff member’s Apple watch, broke two more windows, and violated the restraining officer issued earlier in the day. At that time, Guarino was arrested for the 14 time, arraigned in court, and remanded to the Ulster County Jail on a cash bail of $5,000 or bond of $10,000.
Chief Sinagra said that Guarino has “behavioral issues” that he expresses while at the Anderson Center but treats officers with respect when they arrive. Guarino has repeatedly been arrested for actions against staff including breaking windows of cars belonging to employees.
Citing the need to give judges more discretion during the arraignment process, Sinagra said, “If the judges had more freedom to remand Mr. Guarino to the county jail where he could receive the necessary treatment, my department wouldn’t be at the School so frequently.”
Guarino’s charges on July 16 include two counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief, felony criminal mischief, felony criminal content, and harassment, a violation.