Notorious Transient Accused of Assaulting Burlington Business Owner | Off Message

Notorious Transient Accused of Assaulting Burlington Business Owner

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Michael Reynolds - BURLINGTON POLICE
  • Burlington Police
  • Michael Reynolds
A drunken homeless man punched a Burlington restaurant owner in the chest after barging into the eatery and claiming he owned the place, according to police.

Michael Reynolds, 40, was arrested on a charge of simple assault after the incident Saturday at the East West Café at North Winooski Avenue and Pearl Street.

Reynolds also allegedly threatened to kill responding police officers and correctional officers at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, Burlington police said in a news release.

Police have made contact with Reynolds nearly 900 times since 2011, including 117 arrests — eight for felony crimes — resulting in 31 criminal convictions. He's also been issued dozens of tickets for infractions such as public urination, trespassing and carrying an open container, according to police.

Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo told Seven Days in a story published Wednesday that Reynolds owes the city nearly $12,000 in fines. The article examines a proposal to create a criminal penalty for those who repeatedly commit civil "quality of life" offenses such as "public drunkenness, fighting and public urination." Unpaid violations affect an individual's credit score — which is little deterrent for those with no income or assets.

"The lack of consequences is a root cause of what is an unfair burden on the rest of the community," del Pozo told Seven Days' Katie Jickling.

According to police, Reynolds was arraigned on the most recent charge and released on pre-trial conditions.

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