Brittany Diggs, a Birmingham, Alabama–based nursing student who was kidnapped, robbed at gunpoint and locked in the trunk of her car, said that she used the light on her insulin pump to break free from her abductor.
Diggs, 25, was taken on Tuesday, March 14, and forced to hand over her ATM card before being put in the trunk of her Nissan Altima as the kidnapper drove around Birmingham, attempting to withdraw funds from her bank account.
During a Monday, March 20, interview with the Today show, Diggs opened up about the terrifying experience and how she was able to escape.
“The whole time he’s driving, he’s, like, just, he’s yelling at me from the front seat, ‘You’re lying. I know you have something. Give me your money,’” she recounted. “I just got the bright idea to use my insulin pump light, which is not a bright light, but it was bright enough to see. So I had to put it right on top of it to look and see for the latch.”
The getaway was captured on surveillance video at a gas station, one of the stops where the gunman — who is still at large — attempted to get cash out of Diggs’ account.
“I’m holding the latch like this, waiting for him to get back in the car. He gets in [and] he’s yelling … and I feel the car reversing, and he’s pulling out pretty fast, so I’m, like, ‘Oh, shoot — I better get out of here,’” Diggs told the Today show, adding that she “flopped out” of the trunk.
Birmingham police confirmed Diggs’ account, as did Yosef Al Sabah, the owner of the gas station where the young woman broke free. “As he was leaving, I saw the trunk popped up and a woman jumped out of the trunk and came inside the store,” Sabah told NBC affiliate WVTM. “I let her inside a safe place and locked the door and called the police.”
Though she survived, Diggs is still rattled by the incident and plans on moving away from Birmingham as soon as possible. “He had my phone, keys, car, everything. Gone. Like, I literally just had a jacket,” she said. “I don’t feel safe here.”