Jaila attends the University of West Georgia, about 45 miles outside of Atlanta. One night in September, she was at her local Kroger grocery store buying medicine and tea when she was approached by a man outside of the store.
The man, who has been identified as Timothy Wilson, asked the college student if she had a lighter. She told him she did not and continued walking to her car.
Next thing Jaila knew, Wilson had a knife to her abdomen and told her to get in her Honda Accord.
After a few minutes on the road, Wilson pulled off the highway and ordered Jaila to take her clothes off. After she complied, he brutally assaulted her.
He told her he wanted to flee to Michigan but that he needed to rob a gas station first. He asked her if she knew how to get to Atlanta.
In an incredible act of bravery and outsmarting her kidnapper, Jaila told him she needed her phone to check her GPS. That’s when she turned on her location and secretly texted it to her boyfriend, Tamir Bryant.
After the short exchange, Wilson – who didn’t suspect a thing – put Jaila in the trunk while he made his robbery attempt.
He was unsuccessful and allowed Jaila to check her phone once again to find another store. Once handed her phone, she sent her new location to Tamir, who by this time had the police with him.
Law enforcement sent out an alert out looking for Jaila’s green Accord. In the meantime, Wilson parked the car in a parking lot but turned the lights off and kept it running while he planned his next move.
Suddenly, an Atlanta officer spotted the car and began to approach Jaila’s vehicle. Wilson turned the lights on and sped towards the exit, almost hitting the police officer.
The officers drew their weapons and commanded Wilson to stop. He ignored them and crashed into a fence. Both Jaila and Wilson jumped out of the vehicle and Wilson began to flee on foot.
Wilson was arrested 10 hours later and was charged with kidnapping, hijacking a motor vehicle, aggravated assault, rape, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment, and aggravated assault against a police officer.
The authorities involved in Wilson’s apprehension and the safe return of Jaila have said that the public should “take lessons” from her actions. Her boyfriend believes she saved her own life.
“If I didn’t get the location, who knows what would have happened,” Tamir said. “Her doing it on her own — she was able to outsmart the bad guy.”