CARROLLTON, GA — A Georgia college student has revealed how she escaped a man who raped and kidnapped her by convincing him to give her back her cell phone.
Jaila Gladden, a 19-year-old University of West Georgia student, told BuzzFeed News that she was leaving a supermarket alone in Carrollton on September 4, 2017, when a man in the parking lot asked is she had a lighter. She told his she didn’t, and kept walking.
She told the publication that she then felt a knife against her throat when she got to her green Honda Accord, and realized it was the same man, who had followed her to her car.
The man, Timothy Wilson, forced her inside the vehicle — and then, Gladden said, drove her to an abandoned church and raped her outside the car.
He then forced her back inside the car and demanded that she direct him to a gas station.
This was the crucial moment when she had the idea to convince him to give her back her phone, telling him that she needed to look up locations of gas stations. As the kidnapper drove toward Atlanta, she turned down the screen brightness level and was able to hurriedly text her boyfriend her location and that she had been kidnapped, according to BuzzFeed.
“I don’t want him to kill me,” she wrote in one text. Her boyfriend contacted authorities.
When they found the vehicle in Atlanta, Wilson fled the scene. He was arrested several hours later and faces multiple charges, including kidnapping, hijacking a motor vehicle, and rape.
Gladden told BuzzFeed she is speaking out now to warn others and advocate for more security in parking lots. “He’s taken a lot away from my life and it doesn’t need to happen again,” she said. “It shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”
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Main photo: Jaila Gladden [Handout]