On May 29th, Memorial Day, a fire consumed Harold's. The bar was frequented by a large number of Riverside-area veterans and had been since the VFW shut down in 2003. There are no suspects in the arson investigation currently, but Harold's was where Zeva Pacariz was employed and where Sheena O'Duffy (the mother of Jordan O'Duffy) had been employed as well. There is still no word on where or when Pacariz will be tried, and to date Jordan O'Duffy is still free and not charged with anything.
Harold Lattimer, Harold's owner, said, "If this was because I had an illegal working at my bar, then I need people to understand that I did not know she was here illegally. But I can also say this. No one else was coming around the bar looking to scrub toilets. So I had to hire someone. Work doesn't just do itself, and all these people sitting around waiting for their lives to get better without doing any work are just as much the problem as illegals are. I might not have said something like that if I still had anything to lose. But my bar's gone now. So there it is."
This suspected arson comes not even ten days following Zeva Pacariz's arrest, and as Burke Marker stated on the phone this afternoon, "We have to do something to get this under control. Our community is consuming itself. For a long time it was just in the Industrial Park, and we were working hard to change that. We were working hard to get folks to come in here and set up shop, to build things in Riverside again. I can only do so much, though. If the people of this town want to be rotten, then they're gonna be. It's not up to one man to make good choices for everyone. Whoever set that fire, if it was arson, needs to own up to it. We need businesses in our community for it to thrive. And we need new businesses if we want our community to grow. Who is going to want to come into a town where you've got terrorists and folks burning down bars? Riverside can be a good place for people to live and work again."
The police had no comment on the arson today.