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Daytime Riverside Robbery Highlights Concerns About King Street Neighborhood

Jessica Palombo

Jacksonville police are looking for a man who robbed four Riverside restaurant employees at gunpoint in broad daylight Friday.

This happened a year after another restaurant employee was robbed and fatally shot across the street.


Credit Jessica Palombo / WJCT News
Kickbacks Gastropub on King Street was serving up lunch on Tuesday. A flier taped to its window advertises a reward for the unsolved murder of Daniel Rowe. The 20-year-old father was shot in the head across the street from Kickbacks a year ago this month.

A flier taped to a window at KickbacksGastropub on King Street advertises a rewardfor the unsolved murder of Daniel Rowe. The 20-year-old father of two was shot in the head outside Blind Rabbit a year ago this month.

Last week, four Kickbacks employees were robbed at gunpoint in the alley behind the restaurant. Server Matthew Reichstadter said the suspect was black, middle aged and noticeably cross eyed. He pointed a shiny metal handgun at him.   

“When he first pulled the gun out and pulled back the slide, his gun jammed and I could see the 9 millimeter bullet hanging out of the side of it,” Reichstadter said.

He took off with $250 from Reichstadter. He said he didn’t chase the guy because he thought of Rowe and his own father, who was robbed and murdered when Reichstadter was a kid.

“I wasn’t trying to follow that closely in his footsteps,” he said. “ I didn’t want to die either.”

Next to Blind Rabbit is Razor’s Edge Barbershop. Zach Neptune, who just finished up a cut Tuesday, said he wasn’t really all that surprised by the robbery.

“I think with all the other things that have happened around here and surrounding restaurants given the area that we’re in I think ... people are ready for it,” he said.

Credit News4Jax
Blurry footage of the suspect was recovered from security cameras at Jacksonville City Councilman Jim Love’s office near the robbery scene.

As for Reichstadter, he said he’s considering looking for another job because he doesn’t feel safe in the area.

In the meantime, he’s hoping to make up the money he lost by selling handmade jewelry at this week’s downtown Art Walk. He lives paycheck to paycheck and the robbery put him back on rent, but he comes from a family of jewelers and sells pieces on the side.

He took to the website Reddit this weekend to let people know he needed to make up the stolen cash.

“There was one Redditer that came forward and he bought a piece of jewelry from me that I had listed for $25 and he gave me $60 for it,” Reichstadter said. “He really blessed me and helped me out.”

Reichstadter makes rustic-looking glass pendants with dried flowers in them and thin stackable rings. He said his stand called Gaias Talismans will be across the street from Chamblin’s Uptown on Laura Street.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.