Jaila Gladden: A Story of Survival
In September 2017, UWG college student Jaila Gladden, went to Kroger in Carrolton to buy medicine and tea because she was feeling ill. At approximately 11:30 p.m., an unknown assailant, who was recently released from prison, forced her into the passenger seat of her car at knifepoint. He then took her iPhone and began driving toward Atlanta.
Once in Atlanta, the assailant drove to a church in a rough part of town. There, he raped Jaila. He then told her that he needed to get to Bankhead Highway to rob a gas station. She informed him that she needed her cell phone to GPS the gas station’s location, and the assailant returned her phone. Upon receiving her phone, Jaila sent her GPS location to her boyfriend, Tamir Bryant. He went to the police, who were able to track the phone.
Upon arriving to Bankhead (formally Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway), the assailant put Jaila in the trunk and attempted to rob the gas station. He returned to the car because he was only armed with a knife and the clerk was behind bulletproof glass. The assailant then drove to a second Kroger with the intent to rob it. Again, he put Jaila in the trunk and walked to Kroger. But this Kroger had a security guard.
So the assailant returned to the car to wait it out until morning. The police caught up to them in Midtown and rescued Jaila after the assailant took off on foot. Less than 10 hours later, police found the criminal and took him into custody.
Legal Action: Why Are We Filing?
When Jaila came to The Dixon Firm with her ordeal, we determined that shopping center security was inadequate at the location where the criminal kidnapped her. Given the location and the 24-hour operation, we believe that a nighttime security guard would have deterred the assailant, especially given the fact that the presence of a guard deterred him from robbing the second Kroger.
Surveillance Video of Kidnapping
Text Messages Jaila Sent to Her Boyfriend While Kidnapped
After the incident, Jaila told her story to many news outlets with hopes that her story would save help save more lives:
- Jaila Gladden, Tamir Bryant, and Attorney Rod Dixon discuss Jaila’s heroic escape – The Today Show
- College student warning others after she was kidnapped from grocery store – WSB-TV
- Pt. 1: Jaila Gladden Outsmarts Kidnapper Using Phone – Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen – True Crime Daily
- Jaila Gladden, A College Student, Who Escaped Kidnapper Recounts Her Ordeal | Megyn Kelly TODAY – TODAY
- College student to sue grocery store after alleged rape – Fox5
- GPS saved my life: Georgia college student, 21, reveals how she used her iPhone’s ‘share my location’ feature to escape the kidnapper who raped her at knife point Daily Mail
- Student reveals how she escaped kidnapper in terrifying ordeal – New York Post
- Here’s How This College Student Escaped After She Was Allegedly Kidnapped And Raped – BuzzFeed
Sexual Assault Resources
Cases of sexual assault and rape happen far too often. Many times criminal charges against attackers can go unsolved or inactive, so it’s important for victims to act quickly when seeking sexual assault resources and legal assistance.