A Johns Island man is recovering from what he says was a group ambush after giving a stranger a lift home.
Brandon Reiter has 13 staples on his scalp, a black eye and plenty of other bruises from the incident last Friday morning.
Reiter says he was driving home to Johns Island after a night out when he saw a woman frantically waving her arms on the side of the road. He pulled over and offered her a ride. “Just last week some guy was stuck in the middle of an intersection so I helped him out,” said Reiter “I automatically will stop to help someone.”
Reiter drove the woman to a neighborhood he had never been to to before. The 37-year-old claims when he stopped the truck, the passenger grabbed the tip money he had on his dashboard and ran away. “That’s when I actually got out of the car – which wasn’t a smart idea,” said Reiter, “and in doing that.. people kind of came out of nowhere.”
Reiter says two black men approached him and then robbed him of his money and phone. The younger man led Reiter to the back of a building at gunpoint. Reiter tried to hit the gun out of his hands then ran back to the truck. Reiter says a gang of men were waiting there and proceeded to beat him down.”It was a setup,” said Reiter, “There’s no way that many people would have been right there and it would have been so planned out.”
Reiter does not remember exactly how he survived, just that the gang beating stopped and he got back in truck and drove away. “I floored it,” said Reiter, “I thought I was going to get shot.”
Reiter first drove home where he recorded a Facebook video about the ordeal. His fiance took later took him to the hospital.
The 37-year-old admits he should never have stopped to pick up the person, let alone get out of the truck. However, Reiter says he was just trying to do a good thing. “We shouldn’t have to sit here and be talking about things like this,” said Reiter, “it should be like oh it was really nice to help somebody out and they thanked you.”
The Charleston Police Department is investigating the incident.