Jordan Dinsmore, a 20-year-old Midlands Tech student in Columbia, South Carolina, narrowly escaped three kidnappers who threatened to rape and kill her last Wednesday night in the parking lot of her apartment complex. What ultimately saved Dinsmore: her mother’s sage advice and her ability to drive a car with a manual gearbox.
According to the Daily Telegraph, as Dinsmore was being threatened and assaulted, she recalled advice her mother, Beth Turner, once gave her. Her mother had narrowly avoided being assaulted while in college decades ago and had impressed upon Dinsmore that if she’s ever in that situation to 1) stay calm, 2) don’t let them get you alone, and 3) try to escape.
“If they get you out of the public eye, they’re going to do something worse to you and shoot you anyway,” Dinsmore recalled her mother saying.
Armed with that advice and her 2009 Scion’s manual transmission, she indeed found herself with a tactical advantage over her attackers.
South Carolina newspaper The State describes how the night unfolded after Dinsmore pulled into her parking space around 1 a.m.:
Three men emerged from a nearby line of trees and pushed Dinsmore to the ground, she says. One pointed a gun at her and threatened to pull the trigger if she kept screaming.
The men, all wearing dark clothing, took her phone and purse, Dinsmore said. They forced her back into her car, but not before struggling with the door locks and realizing the car had a stick shift that none of them could operate, she said.
Tired of the delay, one fled on foot, Dinsmore said. The other two, including one with a gray handgun, forced Dinsmore into the driver’s seat and told her to drive them to a nearby ATM.
She withdrew $300 – the maximum allowed – and pleaded again to be released. Instead, she was told to drive north on Bluff Road toward Columbia. “I knew that at that point I had to get out.”
Dinsmore left her seat belt off, hoping the men wouldn’t notice the car’s safety alarm.
As they drove, one of her abductors told her they were headed to a relative’s house, where Dinsmore would have sex with one of his friends.
“I was thinking somehow I have to get out of this,” she said. “Can I crash the car? No, because it might knock me out and not them. Can I pull over or something? I have to get away from them.”
And get away she did, in a truly remarkable manner.
As Dinsmore approached an intersection with three cars coming from the opposite direction, she decided this was her moment. She ignored the criminal’s orders to pull over and instead rolled the car into the intersection, popped it into neutral, and jumped out of the car at nearly 35 miles per hour.
She did not see what exactly what happened next, but believes her attackers fled on foot after the vehicle swerved off the road and into the brush because they were unable to control the car.
She told reporters that she is thankful the ruthless criminals didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.
“I’m going to be driving a manual for the rest of my life,” she said.
According to WYFF, three teenagers have been arrested in a racially motivated crime spree that included the incident with Dinsmore.
Sheriff Leon Lott said the crimes had escalated from robbing delivery people, to carjacking to a narrowly escaped sexual assault attempt.
Lott said Raquan Green, 17 (mug shot below) and two 15-year-olds whose names will not be released because of their ages, targeted their victims by race.
“This was a crime spree. They would not have stopped,” Lott said. “They made a statement that they did not like white people and they were only going to rob white people.”
Lott said one of the victims, who was African-American, told investigators she was released by the suspects when they found out she was not white.
The teens have been linked to at least six other cases and are facing a slew of charges, including kidnapping and robbery.
To see Dinsmore’s interview about the horrific events, click below:
For more on the arrests, including Dinsmore speaking at the press conference about the harrowing incident, click here.