Brittany Diggs, 25, was kidnapped at gunpoint Tuesday and forced to drive around Birmingham. She said the gunman threatened to kill her and tried to withdraw cash from her bank accounts with her ATM card.
In an exclusive interview with TODAY, Diggs said: "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.'"
The gunman and her Nissan Altima were recorded on surveillance video at a gas station — and the camera was rolling when Diggs flung the trunk open from inside and "flopped out," as she put it.
"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 the gunman tried to get yet more cash from the gas station's ATM, "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.'"
Birmingham police confirmed Diggs' account of the escape. So did Yosef Al Sabah: owner of the gas station, who 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."
The culprit remains at large, and Diggs — who fears for her safety — said she's getting out of town.
"He had my phone, keys, car, everything. Gone. Like, I literally just had a jacket," Diggs said.
She's relocating because "I don't feel safe there," she said.
"Brittany jumped with nothing to lose but also nothing to come back to," a friend said on a GoFundMe page set up to raise money to help Diggs find a new home. "This stranger took everything from her."
Alex Johnson is a reporter and editor for NBC News based in Los Angeles.