WNYT.com

Disabled man ticketed for 12th time, tried, for parking truck near camping area

Posted at: 10/10/2012 4:59 PM
Updated at: 10/10/2012 6:28 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

WARRENSBURG - This quiet stretch of land along the Hudson River in Warren County, known as Buttermilk Camping Area, is the subject of a decades-long controversy.

   
It's here where Ted Galusha has been ticketed a dozen times for parking where he's not supposed to.
 
Galusha has multiple sclerosis. He's a disabled veteran. He loves to camp here, but says he can't access the sites without a car or truck.
 
He got the most recent ticket this July in the same place he'd gotten all the others. 
"This is my 12th ticket in the same exact spot. It's really getting old. I didn't plan on spending 20-something years fighting for something as silly as this," said Galusha.
   
Galusha began the fight in the 1990s, when he says D-E-C closed camp sites and pushed them farther into the woods, making it impossible for disabled people to get to them.
   
He thought his fight was over in 2001 when he says a federal judge ruled in his favor.
   
Galusha says it got better for a while, but a couple years ago, he says the state began blocking access to sites, taking away handicap-accessible tables and outhouses,  and replacing them with open air toilets.
 
During a trial Wednesday, Galusha asked Warrensburg Town Justice Bryan Winslow to dismiss the case, saying it belongs in a federal court.
 
At the end of the trial, the judge found Galusha guilty  and ordered him to pay a 50-dollar fine. He told the judge he'd rather go to jail. "I need to find me a good lawyer," said Galusha.
"We'll see what happens. I'm going to keep fighting as long as I can to make 'em do what's right."
 
A D-E-C spokeswoman declined to comment.