A Chicago man accused of damaging Holocaust-related videos at the Riverside Public Library back in 2005 was arrested by Riverside police early Monday morning after running from an officer who wanted to know why he was walking down Harlem Avenue carrying a gasoline can and a 3-foot piece of lumber.

When approached by the police officer at 12:33 a.m. in the 3300 block of Harlem Avenue, Richard B. Mayers ran west into Riverside. He was apprehended a short time later in a back yard in the 700 block of Selborne Road.

According to the police report Mayers, 38, was also carrying newspapers and several lighters when he was arrested.

A resident of an apartment building in the 3000 block of Harlem Avenue told police that she heard someone trying to get inside the front door of the building shortly before police arrived.

Mayers, who was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn after complaining of shortness of breath and chest pains, had no explanation for his actions, according to police, who charged him with resisting arrest and jaywalking.

Asked about the gas can, Mayers said he was helping out a friend whose vehicle ran out of gas in Berwyn. The vehicle was located on East Avenue, several blocks west of where Mayers was arrested.

The 2005 charges against Mayers were dropped after local library officials failed to appear in court, but he has caught the attention of police from Chicago to New York since that time. In 2005, he was picked up near Niagra Falls, N.Y., where his car was found abandoned in August 2007.

He indicated to police at the time, according to a local press report, that he had swum the river to Canada. During questioning for that incident, he reportedly also told police that he had been ticketed for trying to swim to Ellis Island from New Jersey.

According to Riverside police, in April of this year he was charged with possession of a controlled substance by Chicago police.

A perennial candidate for office, Mayers has filed to run in the February primary for U.S. Congress in the 10th District as a member of the Green Party, despite listing his address on his nominating petitions as being in the 6100 block of 64th Place in Chicago.

The 10th District, represented by Republican Mark Kirk, comprises several north suburban communities, such as Wilmette and Buffalo Grove. His candidacy is being challenged in that race by two residents of the district.

He’s also seeking to be elected to the Green Party’s state central committee. Two challenges have also been filed against that candidacy.