t all started as a late-night grocery run for medicine and tea, but the night quickly turned into a nightmare for Jaila Gladden.
A report by BuzzFeed News reveals the horrifying details behind an attempted kidnapping that took place last September, and the quick thinking that helped Gladden escape her would-be captor.
Jaila Gladden left her Carrollton, Georgia apartment at around 11:30 p.m.on September 4, 2017.
She drove to a local grocery store — something she’d done countless times before.
But this innocent grocery trip quickly took a turn for the worst.
After making her purchases, Gladden left the store and returned her dark green Honda Accord located in the parking lot.
As she was walking to her car, a man approached her and asked if she had a lighter. She said she didn’t and kept walking. But once she got to her vehicle, she felt a knife pressed against her abdomen. You can see the interaction in this security footage:
The man ordered Gladden to get into her vehicle. She complied, climbing over the center console to get to the passenger side from the driver’s side door.
The man with the knife asked her if she knew how to get to Atlanta.
He then drove them to a parking lot behind an abandoned church building, where he then told Gladden to remove her clothes.
Gladden says she pleaded with him but he said there was “no purpose in crying.” Gladden says the man then raped her inside her car.
The man said he needed to get to a gas station so he could rob it and use the money to get to Michigan. It was at this point that Gladden had a brilliant idea. She told the man that she could help him get to a gas station, but she’d need to use her phone for navigation.
For whatever reason, he agreed to let her use her phone.
Gladden immediately sent her location to her boyfriend.
When Gladden’s boyfriend, Tamir Bryant, got the text message, he was confused. At this point, Gladden was already nearly 50 miles away from her home.
“Why are you there?” he texted back.
Gladden replied with just one word:
“I immediately realized it was serious,” Bryant told BuzzFeed News. “She would never play like that. She would never say that for no reason.”
Bryant immediately started heading to the police station.
The night was far from over…