Claiming he intimidated a fire marshal’s teenaged son, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is asking a federal judge to put Fair Haven developer Angelo Reyes back in jail while he awaits trial on arson charges.
The office plans to make that case Thursday before U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford.
In a 17-page motion filed last week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Reynolds wrote that on March 26 Reyes twice drove slowly by the Fair Haven home of a lead fire department investigator who’s a key witness against him in a federal arson case. Reyes “intimidated” and “stared down” the investigator’s 14-year-old and 5-year-old sons and at one point “leaned out the window” to “yell” at them, according to federal complaint.
Reyes, a politically prominent community leader credited with rebuilding his life and helping to turn around Fair Haven after serving time in jail on drug-dealing charges, has been out on bond while he awaits trial on separate federal and state arson charges. The state has brought arson-conspiracy charges against him in connection with three suspicious fires from 2008 and 2009. Meanwhile the feds are prosecuting separate charges against him related to four other Fair Haven buildings he allegedly torched to make way for development plans.
Reynolds’ motion asks Judge Bryant to rule that “Reyes’ order of release be revoked and that he be detained pending trial. The government also moves ... for a protective order prohibiting Reyes – or anyone under his direction or control – from further harassing, threatening or intimidating this particular witness or his family; and prohibiting Reyes or anyone under his direction or control from having any contact with prospective government witnesses in this case, except through and with the participation of his defense counsel.”Click here to read the full motion.
“Those accusations are false,” Reyes told the Independent Wednesday afternoon when asked about the latest motion.
Reyes runs People’s Laundromat on Grand Avenue. New Haven police went there to interview him about the alleged intimidation of the fire investigator and his children.
Reyes told the police he was driving his van on the street in order “to drop off someone who needed a ride home from the laundromat,” according to a police report. The report states that Reyes showed officers “his cell phone, which had the address and time in which he went to that location.” It quotes Reyes stating that he knows who the fire investigator is but that he doesn’t know where the investigator lives.