In a gripping interview, a Georgia college student, Jaila Gladden, 19, revealed how she miraculously escaped an alleged rapist who reportedly kidnapped her. Janice bravely relived her ordeal, telling BuzzFeed News just how she accomplished the near-impossible.
On Sept. 4, 2017, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Jaila left her apartment in Carrolton, Georgia, – 50 miles west of Atlanta – to head for a local grocery store, Kroger, to pick up some medicine and tea. Clad in a striking fluorescent Nike shirt, Jaila was walking back to her car in the parking lot when she was approached by a man. He asked her for a lighter. After she told him she didn’t have one, she continued to her car.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Jaila Gladden recounted the harrowing night she says she was kidnapped and raped by a stranger, and how her quick-thinking use of her cell phone was instrumental in her rescue https://t.co/IsEngCQlLQ
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 10, 2018
When she reached the vehicle, Jaila said, she felt a knife press against her abdomen – it was the same man who had requested the lighter. The man – who authorities later identified as Timothy Wilson – demanded she get inside the car. Allegedly, Wilson then drove to an abandoned church where he raped her, according to the victim.
Wilson purportedly told her that he intended to rob a gas station and then drive to Michigan. He insisted that she direct him to a station.
“When he initially picked me up I was watching where he drove,” Jaila divulged. “He never took (his) eyes off the road.”
She reportedly told Wilson that she needed her phone to Google the nearest station. “It was the most logical thing to do,” she said.
The suspect then handed Jaila her phone, who dimmed the screen and texted her boyfriend, Tamir Bryant, telling him she had been “kid napped (sic).”
“I immediately realized it was serious,” Tamir told BuzzFeed. “She would never play like that.”
Although Wilson retrieved the phone from Jaila, she tricked him again to send a few one word texts including the fact that her assailant had a knife and that she was held captive in her own car.
“I don’t want him to kill me,” she texted.
Jaila’s boyfriend Tamir quickly notified police who later spotted the vehicle idling in a parking lot. When the suspect saw the police, he pushed the pedal and attempted to flee. The officers pulled their weapons and ordered the suspect to stop. The suspect ignored the command and crashed into a tree before jumping over a fence.
Emerging from the car, a shaken Jaila told police what had allegedly happened. The suspect, Wilson, was eventually collared by officers ten hours later. He faces multiple charges including rape, kidnaping, aggravated assault, aggravated sodomy and hijacking of a motor vehicle.
The victim said she revealed her story to make more people aware of imminent danger that can happen anywhere, and to advocate heightened security in parking lots.
“He’s taken a lot away from my life and it doesn’t need to happen again,” Janice said. “It shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”
[Feature Photo: Jaila Gladden/Handout]