Manuel Towns is facing several charges in the case of a woman in Birmingham, Alabama, who leapt from the trunk of her car to escape his alleged abduction

By Char Adams
March 23, 2017 10:17 AM

A Birmingham, Alabama, man is facing several charges in connection with the case of a nursing student who leapt from the trunk of her car to escape his alleged abduction earlier this month, PEOPLE confirms.

Manuel Towns was arrested on Tuesday, more than a week after 25-year-old Brittany Diggs jumped from her moving vehicle after Towns allegedly kidnapped her at gunpoint from her Birmingham apartment, officials said.

Towns is charged with kidnapping, robbery and two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, jail records show. He is being held at Jefferson County Jail in Alabama on $500,000 bail.

He has not yet entered a plea to the charges.

Diggs revealed in a recent appearance on Today that a man — who police claim was Towns — forced her into the trunk of her Nissan Altima on March 14 after attempting to rob her in front of her home.

She remembered a Facebook video describing how to use a latch to open a car trunk from the inside and used her insulin pump to find the latch in the darkness.

Her escape in the parking lot of a local gas station was captured on surveillance footage.

Brittany Diggs

Towns allegedly demanded money and threatened to kill Diggs when he approached her outside of her apartment, NBC News reports.

Officials told NBC that Towns is expected to appear in court in the next few days.

Diggs said that the man who abducted her unsuccessfully tried to rob two other couples before demanding her PIN numbers so he could withdraw cash from ATMs. She said the man became frustrated when he was unable to withdraw money.

Manuel Towns

The nursing student said she began to panic when he stopped at the gas station.

“My bigger fear was he was gonna drive this car into a river and I’m going to drown here in this trunk,” she said.

In the days following the incident, Diggs said she did not feel safe enough to return to her apartment.

“I try to put it in the back of my head so I can just get through the day, but that was the scariest thing I ever had to deal with,” she said. “It was just a lot, because I’m not from here and I don’t have a support system down here besides my roommate. I just felt like it was a lot.”

A GoFundMe has been created to help Diggs pay for moving, hospital fees and attorney costs.

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