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Crime

Baltimore Police: 15-year-old charged with murder in encounter between bat-wielding man and squeegee workers

Baltimore Police arrested a 15-year-old boy Thursday in connection to last week’s fatal Inner Harbor shooting where a baseball bat-wielding man confronted a group of squeegee workers.

The teenager was arrested about 6:35 a.m. at a home in Baltimore County and was taken along with his father to be interviewed by detectives, authorities said. The teen was charged as an adult with first-degree murder.

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Detective Vernon Davis, a Baltimore police spokesman, said the department doesn’t publicly identify minors charged with criminal offenses.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison in a statement said the teen’s arrest is a sad reminder of the ease with which the city’s youth can get their hands on a gun.

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“We all need to continue to work together to address the root causes of violence and to provide resources and alternatives to these young people,” Harrison said. “I hope that today’s arrest brings some closure and peace to the family, friends and loved ones of Timothy Reynolds.”

A dashboard camera video of last week’s shooting obtained by The Baltimore Sun shows a squeegee worker shoot at 48-year-old Timothy Reynolds five times at the intersection of Light and Conway streets.

Reynolds drove through that intersection, parked on the other side of Light Street and emerged from his car with the bat, Harrison said previously. It is still not clear what originally happened to cause Reynolds to get out of his car.

When the video starts, Reynolds had already exited his car with a metal baseball bat, walked across Light Street and confronted the workers.

Satellite map of Light and Conway intersection with eastern edge of Conway median shaded to show area of confrontation and line pattern along eastern edge of Light to indicate car parked somewhere there.

He can be seen walking away from the intersection, presumably back toward his car, as three squeegee workers follow him. They get near him but another car obstructs the view. Less than a second later, they turn to run as Reynolds starts chasing with the bat raised. At roughly the same time as he swings his bat toward one of the workers, another throws what appears to be a rock at his head from behind. The video shows the rock hitting Reynolds’ head and bouncing off.

Reynolds, still holding his bat, turns around when a third squeegee worker pulls a handgun and starts firing. The first shot appears to hit him somewhere in the side of his body and he starts falling. As the shooter is beginning to walk away, he shoots at Reynolds four more times.

Reynolds was lying on the ground until first responders rendered aid. He died shortly thereafter.

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Under Maryland law, people defending themselves have a duty to retreat, meaning they are supposed to try and leave unless doing so is unsafe or impossible. It is also against state law for people under age 21 to possess a handgun.

Outside a three-story brick apartment building in Essex where the teen was arrested on Thursday, two marked Baltimore Police cars were all that remained hours after the arrest. Family members of the teen could not be reached for comment, and no one answered the door at the apartment. It’s unclear if the teen has an attorney.

The squeegee workers are a mainstay political issue, and the imagery of Thursday’s shooting — a middle-aged white man chasing after a group of young Black men with a bat — has reignited a debate with racial undertones.

For decades, Baltimore leaders have explored ways to get young window washers away from busy and dangerous city intersections. Officials say city workers frequently reach out to the youths to offer other opportunities, even jobs that pay the same, in recognition of the draw of the quick dollar and the deep-rooted issues that leave some squeegee kids in need of an immediate payout.

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Accusations of violence, property destruction and harassment, sometimes substantiated, are regularly used as evidence the city must do something about the squeegee workers. There have been 59 calls for “squeegee disturbances” at East Conway and Light over the past 18 months, according to Open Baltimore data. Calls about the window washers at that intersection spiked in June, when there were 13 — more than double as many as the month with the next-most calls since Jan. 1, 2021.

The vast majority of squeegee interactions aren’t violent and most people working intersections as squeegee workers are teens and children trying to survive and are not a threat. Many of the workers need the money to provide for younger siblings or their own children.

“If these corners were filled with white kids who squeegee the narrative would be different,” Baltimore City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett said Monday.


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