Reichert House employee arrested

Press release from Gainesville Police Department

On March 17, GPD Officers and Detectives conducted an investigation of Aggravated Child Abuse that led to the subsequent arrest of a Reichert House Youth Academy employee, Rodney Teart Robinson, 54.

The investigation, which included witness interviews and evidence collection, revealed that at approximately 2:30 p.m., the victim (12 years old), a Reichert House student/member, was playing a board game with another student/member. At some point, Robinson approached the victim and grabbed him by the hoodie on his sweatshirt. The victim fell backwards onto the couch, and his hoodie became wrapped around his neck and cut off circulation, at which point the victim told Robinson he was being choked. Robinson allegedly dragged the victim across the floor for several feet out of the building and shoved him down a ramp. The victim sustained physical injuries including abrasions, lacerations, and bruising. This incident was witnessed by several people present.

Reichert House managers later became aware of the disturbance but did not witness the incident. Staff members spoke with the victim and followed protocol, which included parent notification, internal written reports, supervisor notification, and DCF notification/Law Enforcement notification.

Patrol Officers, Detectives, Reichert House Management with the assistance of Alachua Police Department and Alachua County Sheriff’s Office made contact with Robinson at his residence, which is outside of city limits. He was interviewed and subsequently placed under arrest by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and transported to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Jail.

Robinson had been employed as an Intervention Specialist since October, 2016. His actions are in direct conflict with the mission of the Reichert House Youth Academy and contrary to the training provided to all Reichert House staff to utilize “Handle with Care” and de-escalation methods. As per standard policy and procedures, an internal administrative investigation is currently underway. Robinson has been trespassed from the Reichert House property by law enforcement.