U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Man leaves fake bomb outside Ohio newspaper offices

Incident Details

September 24, 2023

An Ohio man left a mailbox, lighter fluid and a note that said, “Bomb Don’t Touch,” outside the entrance to offices of The Chronicle-Telegram in the metro Cleveland area city of Elyria, Ohio, on Sept. 24, 2023, the newspaper reported.

Elyria police and firefighters, along with the Lorain County bomb squad, investigated the items and did not find any explosives.

The next day, local resident Robert S. Reynolds Jr. turned himself in at the Lorain County Sheriff's Office and admitted to leaving the items, the newspaper reported. He was charged by the Lorain County prosecutor with inducing panic, a felony, and taken into custody and held without bond.

A detective told the paper that Reynolds threatened the publication because he “was upset about coverage of his family earlier this year in the Chronicle.” Reynolds’ father owns a drive-through restaurant in the adjacent Elyria Township; the paper has reported on several complaints by the restaurant’s customers about racist remarks allegedly made by both Reynolds and his father.

“He was mad about our work,” the Chronicle-Telegram’s managing editor, Julie Wallace, told the Tracker via email. She added that the paper has not made any changes to safety protocols since the incident.

“Our building was remodeled and added onto in about 2008 and many safety precautions were added at that time,” Wallace said. “We are safe.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].