A South Carolina woman who was allegedly robbed and kidnapped at gunpoint but escaped by jumping out of a moving car she was driving is being applauded for her quick thinking, PEOPLE confirms.
During a press conference last Thursday, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott credited a 20-year-old college student Jordan Dinsmore with ending a string of robberies, carjackings, and kidnappings that began July 3.
Lott told reporters his officers arrested the three men who allegedly robbed and kidnapped Dinsmore last Wednesday moments after she got out of her car upon returning home from work. A press release alleges investigators have since linked the three suspects to seven “separate incidents of armed robberies, some to include carjacking and kidnapping.”
Raquan Green, 17, who is being charged as an adult, and two 15-year-old juvenile suspects face armed robbery, kidnapping, and weapons possession charges. It was unclear Monday if Green had entered a plea or had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
Green is being held on $75,000 bond.
One of the 15-year-olds will also face an additional count of attempted murder plus a single charge of assault on a police officer while resisting arrest. Police allege he fought with the officer who tried to detain him, leaving him with a leg injury that required hospitalization.
At Thursday’s press conference, Dinsmore, who is a criminal justice major at the University of South Carolina, recalled getting out of her car to find three men fast approaching her. She screamed, she told reporters, and the men allegedly pushed her to the ground.
Dinsmore said the trio allegedly threatened to shoot her if she didn’t stop screaming and again when she refused their orders to get back into her car. She eventually complied and the three suspects, unfamiliar with how to drive stick shift, allegedly forced her to take the wheel. One of them fled while the other two forced her to drive them to an ATM to withdraw cash, she alleges.
At the ATM, Dinsmore unfastened her seatbelt, and took out $300 in cash. She alleges she was told to keep driving and her two captors informed her they planned on sexually assaulting her before letting her go.
“At that point, I decided that it’s time, and I need to get myself out of this situation,” Dinsmore told reporters. “I was thinking, ‘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.”
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After missing her turn, the two suspects allegedly told her to pull over to the side of the road. She looked in her rearview mirror, and saw no one behind her. Up ahead, in the distance, she saw headlights.
When the suspect in the front passenger’s seat, who allegedly had the gun, “was looking to the side where I was going to pull over, I threw it into neutral and fell out,” she recalled. The car, she estimated, was traveling at about 35 miles per hour when she jumped out.
“I got up and I started running towards the gas station,” she explained. A woman drove by and Dinsmore told her to call 911. She sustained bruises and scrapes, but no serious injuries during her ordeal.
Dinsmore said her mother, Beth Turner, inspired her to act.
“I thought back to my mom,” Dinsmore said — her voice, quivering as she spoke. “She was almost a victim of sexual assault when she was in college, and she fought back and fought the man off, and I thought that I am going to be strong like my mom, and I’m going to get myself out of this.”
Dinsmore credited her college coursework for her ability to keep calm under pressure.
“I always think in my head if I was in this position, would I be able to keep a cool head? Would I be able to get out of it? And I kind of wanted to prove to myself that I could,” she said.
Lott was asked during the press conference if he has any openings for Dinsmore. He admitted he’s already started recruiting her, but knows she has to finish her studies first.
PEOPLE was unable to reach Dinsmore for comment.