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LELAND, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man is behind bars after police say he kidnapped, assaulted, and robbed his employer over a paycheck.

Police say John Gatewood wasn’t happy with the amount of money he earned from Manale Landscaping after a job in Leland. Police say Gatewood then broke into Kenneth McDade’s vehicle, took his keys and a shovel, and began swinging the shovel at him. The shovel broke, and Gatewood allegedly threatened to kill McDade with the broken end.

Police say Gatewood then forced McDade with the weapon to a nearby ATM from which Gatewood made McDade withdraw money.

Leland Police later arrested McDade at his home in Wilmington.

Gatewood is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, 2nd degree kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, communicating threats, and larceny from motor vehicle. He is being held in the Brunswick County Detention center under a 100,000 dollar bond.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest9873218

    My thoughts also— I know this man and this is totally out of character for him. Times are hard… when you have bills that need to be paid and you are shorted for what is due to you…. I am not sure what I might do, if my employer did not pay me… as my money is always owed to someone.. Most of us are about one paycheck away from losing the roofs over our heads.. I hope that those of us, that need all of our paycheck to survive, will be sure not to utilize this landscaper- Manale Landscaping, if it is found that he does not properly pay his employees.

  • Logic

    Playing Devil’s Advocate here:

    I have to wonder if the employer legitimately screwed this guy out of his pay. If so, I’d then like to know how many times this has happened in the past since he started working for him. I’d also like to see the employer’s track record with the other employees.

    It’s hard to believe that this guy went so crazy over this one incident. It sounds to me like he was tired of playing by the rules and not getting what was owed to him from his employer. Not to mention, the article doesn’t point out how much money was withdrawn. I think it’s very possible that he just wanted what he rightfully deserved. The need to eat and provide for your family can drive people to do crazy things.

    I’ve done my time working plenty of Mom and Pop jobs where the employers violated labor laws by doing things such as not paying overtime and then threatening employees with termination if they complained. Maybe this guy just said “enough is enough” in this horrendous economy.

    His actions could have been a result of abuse from his employer in which THE EMPLOYER violated labor laws which are put in place for good reason. It could also be that he’s just a complete waste of space in society in which case he should be locked up. I really hope an investigation of the employer’s practices will result from this incident.

  • Guest350

    I feel like you. Something seems to be out of place here. Obviously, he didn’t handle the situation properly, but I somehow feel that he was provoked into what he did.

  • john gatewood

    He gave me a check for 103 dollars for 90 hours of work over two weeks. This check was from the previous two weeks. This means that he was taken money from my check and was not paying me at all. He was being investigated by the dept of labor at the time. Mcdade has done this before. This is what Manale landscaping does to make its money. He offered me a loan on my pay check then went to the police and said i robbed him. Manale paid me while i was in jail DOL case 88372. This is when i found out that they have been doing this for years. Who gets robbed with a stick, with two of his employees with him, and walks to an ATM to get money. He lied on the police report and said i was swinging at him. This company steal their employees paychecks and has been doing so for years. This is not a mom and pops this a full organization which makes its money off of robbing their employees. They pay 10 dollars an hour but if they do not pay you the DOL can only make them pay you 7.25 an hour. It is an win win for their business. Mcdade has other cases with the DOL where he was doing this. My case caused them to go to an time card.This is an billion dollar company made off of robbing their employees. The prof is in the DOL cases in NC and SC. Never the less How can I rob my employer for my own paycheck. This would have been petty cash in any other business.

  • Guest5685478

    Why was mcdade arrested? That done make sense at all

  • Guest7834

    I work for manale landscaping and i have seen paychecks as low as 14 dollars… and thats not the worst of how they treat their employees. We work 50 plus hours a week with no overtime because they have somehow gotten around paying hourly. im on the verge of leaving but cant afford to lose my income. Honestly im surprised someone hasnt flipped the handle sooner.


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