A car dashcam video obtained by The Baltimore Banner captured the end of the fatal encounter between bat-wielding motorist Timothy Reynolds and a group of squeegee workers. It provides some new details not previously discussed by police, but still leaves many unanswered questions about the shooting.
Eyewitness accounts and preliminary statements from police indicated that Reynolds drove through the intersection at Light and Conway streets. He parked on the Inner Harbor side of Light Street, got out of his car and crossed eight lanes of traffic carrying a baseball bat.
The 45-second video clip, which was also described in a police report, does not show the 48-year-old Hampden man’s initial approach of the workers. It picks up with Reynolds walking away from the intersection. As he walks away, he points the bat at three squeegee workers, who are following him from about 20 feet away.
Reynolds walks in front of a car and out of view when the squeegee workers “seemingly surround him,” according to description of the video detailed in a police report. It’s unclear what happens in front of the car but the workers can be seen moving in towards him.
Reynolds can be seen swinging the bat while running towards them. One squeegee worker appears to strike Reynolds in the head while Reynolds has the bat raised toward another worker. Three seconds later, that person pulled out a gun and started firing at Reynolds.
One shot can be heard followed by four more in succession.
A police report describing the video says that Reynolds “stumbles after being hit in the head with the rock and appears to become disoriented.“ That’s when the squeegee worker began shooting, while running away.
When contacted by The Banner Saturday morning, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison confirmed the video. He said he had not been briefed on whether detectives have any additional footage.
A map of closed-circuit video surveillance locations shows no camera at the intersection of Light and Conway, though there is one down the block at Conway and Charles streets. Often cameras can be pointing a different direction at the time of an incident.
”We’re still calling on the public to provide that additional footage,” spokeswoman Lindsey Eldridge said. “We’re still canvassing and looking for additional footage to get a fuller picture of what occurred.”
Mount Washington resident Gabe Auteri told The Baltimore Banner that he was driving through the intersection at the time. He saw part of the encounter not captured on the video. He recalled seeing about a dozen kids, “squeegees in hand, all watching as a large white man approached them with an aluminum baseball bat, yelling at them.”
“The man looked, from where I sat, extremely threatening,” Auteri said. “My first thought was that he was going to swing, that he was going to really hurt someone.”
Auteri was there for no more than 20 seconds and called 911 as the light changed and he drove into the intersection. He said he did not witness what happened next.
The victim’s father Carrol Reynolds told the Baltimore Sun that he was watching his grandson play baseball in Howard County on Thursday evening and didn’t know what had befallen his son until hours after the confrontation.
Carrol Reynolds wondered why his son confronted the squeegee workers.
“He should have just kept driving,” he told the newspaper.
Harrison said on Friday that he is creating an enhanced patrol strategy to increase officer presence at each intersection where squeegee youth operate. “Anyone committing any crimes of damage to vehicles, or assaults to motorists and any other criminal violations, we will be there to make those arrests,” he said. Mayor Brandon Scott said the city would also send staff from the Mayor’s Office of African American Male Engagement, which is tasked with identifying the needs of and supporting young Black men, to squeegee intersections.
Maryland has a law known as Duty to Retreat, in which someone who is being attacked can’t use deadly force or self-defense if it’s possible to leave the situation safely. Unlike states that have a “stand your ground” law allowing deadly force in self-defense, Maryland’s law calls for people outside of their home or business to retreat or avoid danger before using deadly force to defend themselves.
Defense attorney Brandon Mead says he has handled several cases involving the duty to retreat.
“It’s really up to a jury to look at the facts and determine whether that duty applies and if that availability was there,” said Mead, who did not view the video but was speaking generally about the law. “It all depends on 12 random people you put in that [jury] box.”
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, whose office will decide what charges to apply if a suspect is identified, decried the shooting Thursday evening as a “heinous act of violence” and said “there are too many guns on our streets and those who willingly turn to violence as a means of resolving conflicts will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Mayor Brandon Scott said, “If you are on the streets of Baltimore and endanger the safety of others or turn to violence to solve your problems, we will hold you accountable.”
“Regardless of what caused this incident, it is a sad reminder that far too often easily avoidable confrontations escalate into acts of violence,” Scott said in a statement.
Reynolds’ Twitter account includes a 2019 post in which he complained about squeegee workers at the very same stretch of Conway. The post included a picture of debris and soapy water that appears to have been squeegeed to the side of his car windshield.
“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-year-old son in the car,” the post reads. “These kids have no right to be out in traffic.”
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