Man at center of Ridgeway Ave. investigation had prior run-ins with home village
Webster, N.Y. - A Webster man now at the center of an arson investigation in the City of Rochester has had previous run-ins in his home village.
Eric Reynolds is in custody and will be arraigned Thursday morning, likely to be charged with arson in connection to gasoline and what fire investigators describe as methodically placed explosives found at an apartment building on Ridgeway Avenue.
Reynolds was the landlord and owned that building, but the property is in the process of foreclosure.
Several people told 13WHAM Reynolds has displayed an explosive attitude at Webster Village Hall meetings before.
Mayor John Cahill says attendance has dropped significantly, and he believes it's, in large part, because of Reynolds.
"A lot of people will not come to these meetings out of fear of Mr. Reynolds' behavior. They've stated that," said Mayor Cahill, who has been in office since 2013. "It's been a combative relationship for the last four years, with false statements and harassment."
A local media editor tells 13WHAM she stopped attending meetings a year ago because she feared for her safety.
Channel 12 also no longer records the Webster Village meetings live because of a run-in with Reynolds, according to Cahill.
"We want the public to have a right to communicate to their board. I don't have a problem whatsoever. But when it comes to the point where you're making false accusations and threatening people, then I think you've gone too far," said Cahill.
Reynolds was also banned from Village meetings for a short period of time following an alleged assault. In a village letter dated back in July 29, 2013, it states Reynolds is barred from attending meetings as a result of, "disruptive behavior and physical endangerment/abuse of a female attendee."
Reynolds is scheduled to be in Rochester City Court Thursday morning.