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Crime

Video captured part of deadly encounter between downtown Baltimore squeegee workers, man with baseball bat

Video cameras captured at least part of a deadly confrontation involving squeegee workers and a man wielding a baseball bat Thursday at an intersection in downtown Baltimore that has been the site of increased 911 calls about the window washers.

Timothy Reynolds, of Hampden, died at a hospital after being fatally shot on the corner of East Conway and Light streets around 4:30 p.m. after he confronted squeegee workers with a bat.

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Reynolds drove through that intersection, parked on the other side of Light Street and emerged from his car with the bat, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said Thursday. Reynolds walked across the street, approached a group of young men washing windows and swung the bat at one or more of them. A squeegee worker pulled out a handgun and shot Reynolds.

At least part of the incident was captured on video and is being reviewed by authorities. The footage shows Reynolds swinging a bat in the direction of a squeegee worker, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation. It was unclear Friday whether anyone was struck with the bat.

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Harrison on Friday pleaded for anyone who witnessed the fatal encounter, has information about it or captured any of it on video to come forward. He said he has directed officers to increase their visibility at locations where squeegee workers operate.

A police spokeswoman said detectives have yet to identify or apprehend a suspect, while a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office said prosecutors could not provide an update about an open investigation.

Metro CrimeStoppers is offering an $8,000 reward for tips leading up to an arrest.

Details emerged Friday about tensions rising Thursday at the major downtown intersection, where police recorded an increasing number of 911 calls about squeegee workers last month, according to city data.

About three hours before the fatal shooting, an 18-year-old was arrested following a separate confrontation with a motorist at East Conway and Light.

A motorist who told police he’d already encountered trouble at the same intersection a week earlier said he stopped short of the traffic light to avoid confrontation, according to charging documents for the 18-year-old. A squeegee worker blocked the car’s path when the light turned green, while the 18-year-old and an associate began cleaning opposite sides of the man’s windshield.

The man told police he gestured to the squeegee workers that he did not want his windshield wiped and, in response, the 18-year-old bent the driver’s side windshield wiper, documents show. The man said he cursed at the teen and asked him why he would damage his car. The 18-year-old allegedly took a step back, lifted the butt end of what looked like a handgun and threatened the man.

Officers arrested the 18-year-old after chasing him through the garage of the Hyatt Regency. Police found a BB gun, without any pellets, and two rounds of real ammunition, according to charging documents.

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Online court records show the teen is charged with misdemeanor assault, illegal possession of ammunition and malicious destruction of property.

After his arrest, police filed charges against the 18-year-old in two separate cases alleging he bent or broke motorists’ windshield wipers on two dates in June around the intersection of East Conway and Light streets, according to charging documents for those cases. He faces malicious destruction of property charges in both cases.

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 day, in recognition of the draw of the quick dollar and the deep-rooted issues that lead some squeegee kids in need of an immediate payout.

But as long as elected officials have struggled to find the right combination, motorists unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the workers’ presence on the sides of city thoroughfares have complained and called police. The young entrepreneurs have become a persistent political flashpoint.

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.

So-called “squeegee disturbance” calls were the most common types of 911 calls from that intersection other than auto accidents.

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A Twitter account that appeared to belong to Reynolds posted in April 2019 recounting an encounter with a window washer at the intersection of Charles and Conway streets, the next intersection away. The tweet included a photo of a dirty windshield.

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“This is what was left on my window after a squeegee kid washed my window while I was telling him not to do it. Then stared at me threateningly with my 11 yr old son in the car. These kids have no right to be out in traffic,” the tweet said.

Garrett Schiche was riding his Vespa scooter north on Light Street on Thursday afternoon. Loud noises startled him near the intersection with Conway.

“I was right in front of 414 Light and I heard pop, pop, pop,” Schiche told The Baltimore Sun.

As soon as he realized he’d heard three or four shots, he said, Schiche stopped the scooter and looked in the direction of the gunfire.

He said several young men who appeared to be squeegee workers scattered, most running away from the Inner Harbor. A man collapsed onto the street. He called the police and walked closer.

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Schiche said a baseball bat lay beside the man on the ground.

Baltimore Sun data reporter Steve Earley and reporters Emily Opilo, Lee O. Sanderlin and Sanya Kamidi contributed to this article.


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