MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dennis Bratcher is always willing to lend a hand, but sadly the 73-year-old’s kindness cost him last Thursday when police said he was robbed by someone who pretended to need help.
The Vietnam veteran said he was leaving KFC restaurant at Lamar and Kimball but quickly pulled over when a man started waiving his hands like he was in trouble. Police said that man is Carlton Hentz.
“And I rolled the window down,” Bratcher said.
Bratcher was holding a box in his right hand.
“I had it this side over here, and he just reached in the car and grabbed it and took off running with it,” Bratcher said.
The box had all of his belongings inside, including $2,000 Bratcher was going to use to pay his bills. He said he tried to follow Hentz but lost sight of him and couldn’t find him when he searched nearby neighborhoods.
“I tried to catch him, but I couldn't catch him,” Bratcher said.
So he went back to KFC, where employees delivered some surprising news.
“When I got back, the people at KFC said he had brought the box back,” Bratcher said.
But he didn’t bring it back to KFC.
Employees said he called the restaurant and told them the box was behind a dumpster across the street. According to the employees, Hentz also said he was sorry but apparently not sorry enough to return the money. Police said the $2,000 was gone. Investigators caught him the next day.
“I'm glad I didn't have my gun with me because it would have been a different story by now,” Bratcher said.
Sadly, the attack has written a different chapter in his life, too.
“No, no. Never again. I'm not going to trust nobody like that no more,” Bratcher said.