Alleged Transient Attack Reignites Debate About Homelessness

Aug 27, 2017

A homeless man accused of assaulting a Vermont restaurant owner has continued to hang around the establishment.

Michael Reynolds pleaded not guilty Monday to the assault charge and returned to the area near East West Cafe Wednesday. The Burlington Free Press reports ( ) he was still hanging around the area where he was accused of committing a crime on Thursday.

According to police, Reynolds has been arrested over 100 times.

Local restaurateur Brett Richland says the situation is extremely frustrating.

Police and some city politicians are calling for harsher criminal penalties for repeat offenders, while some advocates say that sending the homeless to prison doesn't address underlying issues.

Sara Puls, an attorney who has represented Reynolds, says court proceedings don't address underlying issues of mental illness and addiction.

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