Police said a woman was able to make an escape after she was held hostage by her boyfriend, and a text message might have saved her life, according to WMC Actions News 5.
Laura Dunlap, 20, said that she borrowed 37-year-old Johnson Saulsberry’s car on Sept. 8, WREG reported. Saulsberry had been her boyfriend for only two weeks.
When she returned the car to his home in Memphis, Tennessee, he began acting strangely.
“Next thing I know, he locks the door behind us and all of a sudden loses the key,” Dunlap told WREG.
Dunlap said that after an argument, Saulsberry started drinking and things took a quick turn for the worst, WMC Actions News 5 reported.
“I was quiet,” Dunlap said. "I was trying to cooperate with him until he started getting physical. He started pushing me, grabbing me really hard and shaking me like I'm a rag doll."
Saulsberry then allegedly held her hostage and attacked her.
"I can't even count how many times he done choked me and pulled my hair,” Dunlap told WMC Actions News 5. “My scalp is still tender because he was pulling my hair so hard.”
"If I didn't have enough battery to contact my mom to tell her what's going on, to shoot her a text message, who knows how long I would’ve been there?” she added.
When Dunlap's mother received the text message, she called the police.
Officers who arrived on scene said they had to convince Saulsberry to let Dunlap go, which took nearly an hour.
“Every time I would move out of his way, he would block me,” Dunlap said.
She was eventually able to leave the home unharmed, and shortly afterward, Saulsbery surrendered.
Saulsberry was taken into custody and charged with kidnapping and assault, WREG reported.
Saulsberry had previously been arrested for domestic assault, drugs, criminal trespass, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery. He told police he thought they were after Dunlap, so he was protecting her. He was due in court Sept. 10.
Dunlap is in good physical condition, she said, but she hopes other women will learn from her experience.
“You just got through hitting me, choking me, slapping me around, throwing me around, but you love me,” she said of Saulsberry. "And I told him I don't want this kind of love."