Surveillance video shows a dark-colored vehicle pulling from a parking spot and slowly starting to drive away at a gas station in Birmingham, Ala.
The trunk pops open and a woman, seemingly trapped inside, propels herself from the car — landing on her back before running inside a convenience store. Frantically, she pleads: “Please help me! Please help me!”
Then, she runs toward a man inside the Gas Land station on Bessemer Road.
“What happened?” he replies.
“He’s been trying to rob me,” the woman says of her alleged kidnapper.
Birmingham police said in a statement that the woman, who has not been publicly identified, told authorities that she was making her way to her apartment door when a man tried to rob her at gunpoint Tuesday night. When she told the man she didn’t have any money, the man forced her into his car — then later, into the trunk, she told the investigators.
Investigators think that the suspect was at the gas station using the woman’s ATM card to get cash.
“The victim stated that the suspect began to drive off and she was able to open the trunk and jumped out as the suspect was driving out of the parking lot,” police said. “The victim ran inside of the location and called 911.”
Gas Land owner Yosef Alsabah told AL.com that the suspect attempted to use the ATM but had some trouble and quickly became frustrated. At that point, Alsabah said, the man walked to the counter and asked for assistance.
“He was not right,” he told the newspaper. “There was something going on with him. He looked like he had a pistol in his pocket — I kept an eye on him.”
Alsabah said he watched from the window as the suspect started to drive away. Then, he saw the woman hurl herself from the trunk.
“I got her inside and locked the door, then called the police,” Alsabah told the news site.
Surveillance video from a store room shows the woman crouching down behind the counter and reaching for something that appears to be a firearm. Alsabah told AL.com that the woman grabbed his shotgun before he took it away, assuring her that she was safe.
Alsabah said the woman sustained some cuts and was later taken to a hospital by a family member.
Birmingham Police Sgt. Bryan Shelton told The Washington Post on Thursday afternoon that authorities had leads but were still searching for the suspect.