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11th Jan 2018

21-year-old student tells how phone helped her escape kidnapper

21-year-old student

Jaila Gladden, a 21-year-old from Atlanta, has shared how she managed to escape kidnap after allegedly being held at knifepoint.

On September 4 2017, Jaila was in the carpark of a local supermarket when she was stopped by a stranger asking for a lighter.

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Jaila explained how she said no and attempted to keep walking but the man produced a knife and forced her to get into her car.

Jaila says he then drove to an abandoned church and raped her before telling her he planned to rob a nearby gas station.

Somehow, Jaila managed to think on her feet and told him she couldn’t help without her phone as she needed it to google nearby locations to find a gas station.

When he gave it to her, she managed to share her location in a text to her boyfriend who immediately knew that something was up as she would never ‘joke’ about something like that.

He asked her what car she was in and she replied with “mine”, she also sent one-word replies including “knife” and “scared”.

Her boyfriend went to the police station and was able to share details with them, as they could see Jaila’s car moving along the highway.

However, the terrifying ordeal wasn’t yet over as when police tracked Jaila’s car down, her kidnapper attempted to drive away.

He almost hit a police officer but finally, Jaila was brought to safety when the car crashed into a fence and she jumped out.

According to the publication, the man in question, Timothy Wilson, has since been charged with kidnapping, rape, hijacking a motor vehicle, rape, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment, and aggravated assault against a police officer.

Speaking afterwards a police spokesperson said:

“If this victim did not have her phone and did not think quickly she may not have been as lucky”.

Jaila has waived anonymity as she believes this nightmare could have been prevented if there had been better security at the supermarket car park.

You can read her interview in full here. 

Main image via Jaila Gladden