Couple taken hostage by fugitive cop Dorner have Western Pa. ties
As a Ford City High School senior, Jim Reynolds' favorite quote was, "Let's go home and forget this day."
The quip, immortalized in the school's 1965 yearbook, is uncannily ironic in light of the ordeal he and his wife, Karen, endured this week in their rental cabinstyle condo in the ski resort community of Big Bear Lake, Calif.
The Manorville natives say triple murderer Christopher Dorner tied them up inside the cabin on Tuesday afternoon.
The Reynoldses encountered the fugitive when they entered the cabin to clean it. They told police they think he had been staying there since Feb. 8.
The incident happened during a manhunt for Dorner, a fired Los Angeles police officer, who later was confirmed to have died inside a different cabin, which caught fire with him inside.Authorities accused Dorner of the revenge killings of a former Los Angeles police captain's daughter and her fiance on Feb. 6, and of killing a sheriff's deputy and wounding another during the manhunt.
Larry Valasek of Ford City who graduated with Jim Reynolds, said he was shocked to see his high school friend on television.
"I was up the other night and I saw Jim's picture. ... I had to look twice. And then when I saw Big Bear Mountain, I knew it was him right away," said Valasek, who said he hasn't talked with Reynolds for many years.
The couple moved from this area about a dozen years ago, friends said. Jim Reynolds told the Associated Press that he and his wife have owned the condo for 12 years.
"I'm glad they're both safe," Valasek said. "That was a harrowing ordeal for them. I mean this guy snapped. He spared their lives."
Jim, 66, and Karen Reynolds, 56, could not be reached for comment on Friday.
The couple held a news conference the day after the Tuesday incident to clarify it was they and not two house cleaners, as was widely reported, who were held by Dorner.
They said Dorner had a gun and told them to "stay calm."
Karen Reynolds said she screamed and tried to run outside, but Dorner grabbed her and took her and her husband into a bedroom where he ordered them to lie down.
He bound their arms and legs with plastic ties, gagged them with washcloths and used cords to tie pillowcases over their heads.
"He said, ‘I don't have a problem with you, so I'm not going to hurt you,' " Jim Reynolds said during the news conference. "I didn't believe him. I thought he was going to kill us."
After about 15 minutes, Dorner left the cabin and drove away in the couple's vehicle. Karen Reynolds was able to get her feet free, reach a phone and call 911.
Dorner later carjacked a man, shot at game wardens and killed a deputy in a shootout at the cabin where he was later found dead.
Jim Boarts of Manorville, who attended Ford City High with Jim Reynolds, said when he first heard that Dorner was believed to be in Big Bear, "my mind raced to (Jim) right away."
"I'm so grateful that nothing really serious happened to them," he said. "It's a very strange situation the way it all happened."
Boarts lives on Try Street not far from where Reynolds lived as a child. The house, on the corner of Try and Water streets, is no longer standing.
"It's a small world sometimes," he said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Congressman visits Kistaco Farm in Kiski Township
- Cheswick super fan, 90, has had season tickets for almost 70 years
- Burrell school officials update education goals
- Indiana Township bridge over the Pa. Turnpike to reopen Wednesday
- Springdale Township neighbors at odds over drone
- Apollo-Ridge closer to naming buildings, facilities
- Armstrong ranks 4th in nation among most-armed counties
- ATI requests shelters be moved
- Avonmore man cited in crash
- Pair of crashes snarl Route 28 traffic
- Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign to begin