On September 4, 2017, Jalia Gladden went out at 11:30 pm to go buy medicine and tea from a local grocery store in Carrollton, Georgia. That night Gladden was kidnapped and raped and only escaped because of her quick thinking.
Gladden opened up to BuzzFeed News about that fateful night that changed her life. She told them that while she walking back to her car a man asked her for a lighter after she said she didn’t have one, the man followed Gladden to her car, pressed a knife into her abdomen and told her to get inside. She climbed over the driver’s side to the passenger seat and her kidnapper sat behind the wheel.
Her kidnapper, Timothy Wilson, was driving towards Atlanta, which is about 50 miles from Carrollton. During the drive, he stopped and parked the car behind an abandoned church where he raped her.
Then once back in the car, Wilson told Gladden his plan to rob a gas station and then head to Michigan. Gladden is an Atlanta native so she knew that most gas station cashiers are behind protective bars. Gladden asked her to direct her to a gas station. That’s when she asked for her phone back so she could look up the nearest one.
When she got her phone back she shared her location with her boyfriend, Tamir Bryant. “It was the most logical thing to do,” she told BuzzFeed.
When Bryant saw that Gladden wasn’t in Carrollton or on University of West Georgia’s campus where she was a student he asked why. That’s when she told him she was kidnapped.
“I immediately realized it was serious,” Bryant told BuzzFeed News. “She would never play like that. She would never say that for no reason.”
Once Wilson arrived at the gas station he took Gladden’s phone and put her in the trunk. He was unsuccessful in the robbery. “He then told me he was going to rob a Walmart or a Kroger to get the money,” she said. That’s when she asked for her phone back to Google where the closest Walmart or Kroger was. She was then able to keep texting her boyfriend.
The police then put a dispatch of Gladden’s car out to Atlanta police. Wilson parked the car in an apartment parking lot near a Walmart. He didn’t rob it because there was a security guard outside and said they’d spend the night in the car in the parking lot.
A police officer spotted Gladden’s car in the parking lot and when Wilson saw the officer he sped off to leave. In the process, he hit four cars and almost the police office. He eventually crashed into a fence. That’s when Gladden jumped out of the car and told the officers Wilson jumped the fence and fled.
According to the police report, Bryant “burst out of the interview room saying he had Gladden on FaceTime.” Without Gladden thinking quickly and sharing her location with Bryant who knows what would have happened to her.
About 10 hours later the cops arrested Wilson.
According to BuzzFeed, Gladden is finally telling her story because it could have been prevented with better parking lot security like the Walmart Wilson attempted to rob. Wilson has been charged with kidnapping, hijacking a motor vehicle, aggravated assault, rape, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment and aggravated assault against a police officer.