A brave University of West Georgia senior has shared her story of how she was able to escape her kidnapper and rapist last September after outsmarting him.
Jaila Gladden was kidnapped at knife point outside a grocery store in Carrollton by a man who intended to take her to Atlanta in her own car, but did not know how to get there, she told Buzzfeed News.
Her quick thinking in getting Timothy Wilson, the offender, to let her use her cell phone to give him directions ended up helping her notify police of her ordeal.
“It was the most logical thing to do,” she told Buzzfeed.
After kidnapping Gladden, Wilson took her behind an abandoned church and raped her. He then told her he planned to rob a gas station before driving them both to Michigan.
But he needed help with directions, and Gladden said she could only guide him if she could Google directions on her phone. While simultaneously giving Wilson directions, Gladden texted her location to her boyfriend, Tamir Bryant.
A confused Bryant asked why his girlfriend was in Atlanta.
“Kid napped,” Gladden responded.
“Stop playing rn,” Bryant replied. “I’m headed to the police station.”
At this point, Wilson went back and forth between giving Gladden the phone for directions and taking it away as he tried to figure out a store to rob. She used each opportunity to make contact with her boyfriend, letting him know she was kidnapped in her own car, and her current location.
“I don’t want him to kill me,” she texted.
With the information, local police were able to contact the Atlanta Police Department with details of Gladden’s kidnapping and provide real-time updates of her location.
After the car was spotted by police, a harrowing chase followed before Wilson finally crashed the car. Gladden immediately ran from the car towards police officers and was able to FaceTime her boyfriend.
“If I didn’t get the location, who knows what would have happened,” Bryant said. “Her doing it on her own — she was able to outsmart the bad guy.”
The Carrollton police agreed, saying in a public statement that others could “take lessons” from Gladden’s ordeal.
“If this victim did not have her phone and did not think quickly she may not have been as lucky,” the spokesperson said.
You can read more details of Gladden’s harrowing experience on Buzzfeed.