BURLINGTON, Vt. — A homeless Burlington, Vermont, man who police say has been arrested more than 100 times in the past six years has denied assaulting a downtown cafe owner.

Forty-year-old Michael Reynolds pleaded not guilty on Monday.

Brett Richland, the owner of the East West Cafe, said Reynolds came into the cafe on Saturday, saying it was his property. The Burlington Free Press reports (http://bfpne.ws/2wILx3E ) that when Richland said it wasn’t, Reynolds punched him in the chest, knocking him over.

Reynolds has received 90 trespass notices and more than 50 municipal ordinance tickets, exceeding $10,000 in fines.

Business owners have recently raised concerns about disorderly behavior downtown.

Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo says civil penalties carry only financial penalties so have been ineffective against repeat offenders.


Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.