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Woman describes daring escape from kidnappers threatening to rape, kill her

Jordan Dinsmore

A Lowcountry woman made a daring escape this week when three people robbed her and held her hostage inside her own vehicle while threatening to rape her and kill her.

Jordan Dinsmore, a student at Midlands Tech in Columbia, recalled her jarring experience from the comfort of her mother's Mount Pleasant home Thursday night.

Barely 36 hours earlier, shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday Dinsmore was in fear for her life after three people armed with guns ambushed her outside her Columbia apartment as she got home from work.

Dinsmore says the trio shoved her to the ground, and threatened to kill her as they demanded she hand over her valuables. One of the three ran off not long after the ordeal began, Dinsmore says.

The other two -- both later revealed to be teenagers -- forced Dinsmore inside her vehicle, and attempted to drive away. Dinsmore says they were thwarted by the fact neither seemed to know how to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission.

Instead, Dinsmore says the two teens forced her to drive them around in her own vehicle at gunpoint, taking them first to a local gas station where they forced her withdraw money from her bank account at an ATM.

In the process, Dinsmore says she took off her seatbelt, which is when she says her way to escape came to her. She knew she would have to jump from her moving vehicle.

“At that point, they told me that I was going have to have sex with at least one of them," Dinsmore said Thursday night in her mother's living room. Dinsmore says her mother, Beth Turner, also managed to avoid a sexual assault in college.

"My mom always told me, you know, ‘don't let them get you alone, because then you have no help, you have no hope for passerby’s to see you or hear you, and you have no help to get out," said Dinsmore, a criminal justice major at Midlands Tech.

When her kidnappers told her she was going to have to drop them off somewhere, Dinsmore says she knew it was time to jump,

“I just kind of thought in my head, 'Do it, do it, do it,' and then the next thing I know, my hands were on the handle, I was opening the door and I was staring at the pavement," said Dinsmore. "When I wake up, I’m just trying to stand up.”

Stunned, but with her adrenaline pumping, the 20-year-old screamed for help from passing drivers. Two vehicles passed without stopping. A woman in a third car finally stopped to help, Dinsmore says.

"I just really want to thank her," DInsmore said, tearfully. "I owe her my life. I do."

Dinsmore says her only regret is not getting to see the looks on her two kidnappers' faces when she jumped out.

“They were in a moving vehicle, without a driver, and a 20-year-old girl just outsmarted you," said Dinsmore. "I wish I could've seen their faces at that moment, so that they knew that I might have been a victim, but I was not victimized.”

The Richland County Sheriff's Department would go on to arrest the two teens who kidnapped DInsmore. One is 15, and the other is 17-year-old Raquan Green.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Thursday the two teens are connected to a string of robberies and kidnappings targeting Columbia-area college students in the past month.

Incidents date back to July 3, including other armed robberies, carjackings and kidnapping. Lott says most occurred along Bluff Road and Shop Road in Columbia, and area dense with apartments used by Columbia college students as off-campus housing.

The Daily Gamecock, the University of South Carolina's student newspaper, reported an incident very similar to DInsmore's occurred Tuesday morning.

Citing incident reports from the Richland County Sheriff's Department, the newspaper reports two men who attend USC were kidnapped and robbed by three black males outside their Stadium Suites apartment Tuesday morning.

As with Dinsmore, the two men told deputies the suspects forced them to drive them to an ATM at a gas station, and withdraw money. The three suspects eventually abandoned the men at Columbia's Jim Hamilton airport, driving away in their vehicle and taking all their valuables.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says the crimes -- seven total -- were racially motivated, as victims have told investigators the suspects reportedly said they “hate white people” during the robberies.

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(WCIV's Megan Rivers and Drew Tripp, and WACH's Andrea Butler contributed to this report)

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