Kidnapping, robbery victim pleads for help, faces eviction

by: Tenikka Smith Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A man kidnapped and robbed on the job three months ago is still working to put his life back together.

He spoke exclusively to Channel 9 about the impact the attack has had on his life and his ability to take care of his family.

He did not want Channel 9 to use his name, but says he has flashbacks almost daily from the day in July when he said he was kidnapped at knifepoint while working on Welling Avenue in northwest Charlotte.

He didn't want to show his face or use his name, but told us about the terrifying 20 minutes he spent with Robert Rhinehart, the man charged in the attack.

Police said Rhinehart forced him inside his work vehicle and drove him to an ATM and robbed him.

"He had done this before because we never stopped rolling. When we pulled up to the teller he pulled up with my side to the window so I couldn't open the door," the victim said.

The man said Rhinehart drove him back to the neighborhood, slashed his tire and ran off. The man escaped with a knife cut on his back.

A week later police said Rhinehart kidnapped and robbed a vet worker at a west Charlotte animal hospital before he was finally arrested.

Trying to put it behind him the father of four went back to work but things were different.

"Every little sound you hear, every motion you see --- you stop and you look. You're constantly listening," he said.

He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder but insurance denied his workman's comp claim, so he can't afford to pay for counseling.

He said some days his anxiety is so overwhelming that he can't bring himself to go to work at all.

It has put a huge strain on his family's finances. Bills are behind, there's little money for food, and his family will be evicted in two days.

Desperate, he is now reaching out for help. He never imagined he would be the victim of a crime that has in turn hurt his family too.

"My wife has been a rock. My kids are everything to me," he said. "The Lord can throw at me whatever he wants and I will handle it, I just don't want them to have to handle it."

The family has spent days reaching out to agencies hoping to get help soon. Rhinehart will be in court for the crimes in December.

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