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Baltimore squeegee teen indicted on first-degree murder charge

A person cleans a car windshield with a squeegee. On Tuesday, Mayor Brandon Scott announced an action plan to bolster support for squeegee kids, the city youth that clean motorists’ windshields in hope of tips at busy intersections throughout Baltimore.
Aqua Mechanical/Flickr
A person cleans a car windshield with a squeegee.

A grand jury in Baltimore city indicted a 15-year-old squeegee boy accused of shooting a motorist to death after an altercation downtown on first-degree murder and related charges on Tuesday.

While Baltimore prosecutors are pushing to punish the teen as an adult, that doesn’t necessarily mean his case will remain in the adult court system.

After the indictment was handed down one of the boy’s attorneys, Warren Brown, said he was planning to file a motion as early as Wednesday, to transfer the case to juvenile court.

“That will spawn an investigation, a report will be written and then they’ll be a judge that decides whether to send the case to juvenile court, or to retain it in the adult system,” Brown said.

A 48-year-old Hampden resident, Timothy Reynolds, was killed after a confrontation with squeegee boys near the intersection of Conway and Light streets on July 7.

Reynolds drove through the busy intersection and got out of his vehicle with a metal baseball bat confronting the squeegee workers, according to Baltimore city police. One of the squeegee workers allegedly fatally shot Reynolds who was transported to the hospital where he later died, police said.

The teen accused of shooting Reynolds was 14 years old at the time of the shooting but has since turned 15. He was arrested at a home in Essex on July 14.

Brown, the teen’s attorney, said he was disappointed with the grand jury’s decision.

“If they had not indicted him on first-degree, then it would go immediately to juvenile court,” he said. “So now we’ve gotta fight to have this sent to juvenile court and there’s no guarantee that that’s going to happen.”

Brown claims the boy acted in self-defense. Maryland is not a ‘stand your ground’ state. Individuals have a ‘duty to retreat’ which means that unless a person is attacked inside their home they can’t use deadly force and claim self-defense if they might be able to leave the situation.

A few hours before the fatal shooting an 18-year-old squeegee worker was arrested on the same downtown intersection for allegedly pointing a BB gun at a motorist during a different confrontation.

The incidents have sparked debates within the community about the safety of citizens and how to best solve the decades-long plight of Baltimore’s squeegee workers.

Bethany Raja is WYPR's City Hall Reporter
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