Early Saturday morning, around 1 a.m., police say a 25-year-old woman got out of her car in a parking lot near the intersection of Baxter and Bardstown Road. A man held her at gunpoint and forced her back into the car.
“To know that something so terrifying and so violent happened in the parking lot I park in every day and walk to by myself, it's terrifying,” Merritt said.
The man drove away from the parking lot with the victim in the car, heading out of the highlands. For about two and a half miles, police say the suspect repeatedly punched her in the face and head.
In the 2500 block of Mellwood Avenue, that's where police say the victim was able to jump out into this wooded area but the suspect didn't give up, coming after her and sexually assaulting her in the woods.
But his victim would not give up either. Somehow she was able to escape. She ran a half a mile away to a gas station on Zorn Avenue and called for help.“I know we all think that wouldn't happen to me, that only happens on television, that wouldn't happen to me, but obviously it happens to everybody,” Merritt said.
Police later found the victim's abandoned car, her keys and her shoes in the tree line on Mellwood Avenue. They have not made any arrests at this time.
The victim survived and was treated at University Hospital.