A man was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the kidnapping of an Alabama nursing student who was locked in the trunk of her car before a dramatic escape that was caught on camera.
Manuel Towns was arrested on charges of kidnapping in the first degree, robbery in the first degree and two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, a supervising attorney at the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office told NBC News Wednesday evening.
Police say Towns is the man who approached Brittany Diggs at gunpoint outside of her apartment last Tuesday and forced her to drive around Birmingham, attempting to take out cash from ATMs using her pin number.
The gunman eventually forced Diggs into the trunk of a car and allegedly threatened to kill her. When they pulled into a gas station, Diggs used the light from an insulin pump to find an interior latch and pop the trunk to escape.
A judge set Towns' bond at $500,000 and he will have his first court appearance within 48 hours, the district attorney’s office said.
Diggs told the TODAY Show on Monday in an exclusive interview: "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.'"
Diggs’ harrowing escape was captured on surveillance video at a gas station, and she told TODAY how she used the help of her insulin pump to break free.
"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," Diggs said. "So I had to put it right on top of it to look and see for the latch."
As her kidnapper tried to steal more cash from the gas station's ATM, Diggs said, "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.'"
The owner of the gas station, Yosef Al Sabah, also told NBC affiliate WVTM, "As he was leaving, I saw the trunk popped up and a woman jumped out of the trunk and came inside the store. I let her inside a safe place and locked the door and called the police."