This Teen Used Her Cell Phone to Escape a Kidnapper & Rapist


Our worst nightmare became one University of West Georgia college student's reality when she was kidnapped at knifepoint this past September. Despite the distressful situation she was in, she thought quickly and used her cell phone as a vital tool in her rescue. Now she's sharing her story to warn others.


On September 4, 2017, in Carrollton, Georgia, Jaila Gladden drove her Honda Accord to a local grocery store to pick up some tea and medicine. It was 11:30 p.m.

After making her purchases, the 19-year-old was walking back to her car in the store's parking lot when a man, later identified as Timothy Wilson, approached her. He asked her for a lighter but she said she didn't have one and kept on walking.

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Once at her car, she felt a knife being held against her abdomen, and that same man told her to get in. She climbed into the passenger's side and the man got in the driver's seat. 

He drove to an abandoned parking lot, told Gladden to take off her clothes, and then raped her inside the car. Afterwards, he told her he was going to drive to Michigan but needed to rob a gas station for money first.

Gladden noticed how the man never took his eyes off the road while he was driving, so when he demanded that she give him directions to a gas station, she said that she needed her cell phone back to look it up. He gave it back to her, and she turned down the phone screen's brightness and shared her location in a text to her boyfriend, Tamir Bryant. She was able to do this via the "/Share My Location" function on her iPhone, which sent him her GPS data. 


"It was the most logical thing to do," she told BuzzFeed

The text woke Bryant up, and he asked why she was in Atlanta. 

Gladden managed to text back, "Kid napped."

"I immediately realized it was serious," Bryant told BuzzFeed, adding that Gladden would never joke about something like that. 

Gladden managed to send Bryant a few more chilling texts. "Knife," she wrote. "Scared."

Wilson was unable to rob a gas station because they have caged cashiers, so he told her to take them to a Kroger grocery store or Walmart. But the Kroger was closed, and Wilson said they'd sleep in the car until the morning.

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Meanwhile, Bryant was at the police station, and officers told him to ask what kind of car she was in; they sent out police officers to look for her car based on her shared location.

One officer spotted Gladden's car, and Wilson tried to speed away but crashed into a fence. Then he fled by jumping over the fence, while Gladden ran out of the car and toward the officers. 

Bryant apparently "burst out of the interview room saying he had Gladden on FaceTime," according to the police report. 

About 10 hours later, the authorities found and arrested Wilson. He is charged with kidnapping, hijacking a motor vehicle, aggravated assault, rape, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment, and aggravated assault against a police officer. He is currently in jail awaiting his trial. 

A spokesperson for the Carrollton police said that people should "take lessons" from Gladden's quick thinking in texting 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."

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