RAMONA – A 79-year-old grandmother who escaped her kidnapper by jumping out of an SUV Wednesday said she plans to write him a letter when he is caught and she hopes he gets help.
Barbara Roulier was heading to the grocery store in Ramona Wednesday, when she drove up on a crashed SUV.
“I could not drive by this guy,” Roulier said, “He had blood on him and I couldn’t not stop.”
Little did she know that man in question had just kidnapped a high school baseball coach and his student at gunpoint from batting cages in Kearny Mesa, forcing them to drive to Ramona.
The coach, who was driving, told 10News he knew the man was going to kill them, so he took his hands off the wheel and reached in the back seat, grabbing the gun while the kidnapper was holding it. The kidnapper tried to shoot the coach, but missed. The Jeep crashed on the side of San Vincente Road.
“I saw two people close their doors, roll their windows up and go on,” Roulier said. “I heard ‘Samaritan’ in my head.”
She told him to get in.
“We drove. ‘Get me to the police’ is the first thing he said. ‘I’ve been shot.’ And I said, ‘OK.’”
She tried to calm him down.
“He was very distraught and very high, probably.”
Suddenly he put his hand in his pocket like he had a gun.
“He said, ‘you’re gonna get me off this hill,’” Roulier said.
“It’s changed, I’m a victim. I’m kidnapped right now.”
She stayed calm.
“He kept saying, ‘don’t make me hurt you, don’t jump out. Don’t do anything like that. Don’t make me do anything to you,’” Roulier said.
She kept driving.
“I had tried to be kind of a mother figure to him and I prayed the whole way, out loud for him, I was praying,” Roulier said.
At this point, they pulled onto State Route 67 in Ramona, and traffic was backed up.
“And I knew I had to crash. I didn’t want to hurt anybody.”
She slyly undid her seatbelt while he was looking around.
“And he’s like this – ‘don’t you dare jump out,’” Roulier said. “I heard the word jump in my head, jump. I bailed out of the car, and before I did, I said, ‘take my car.’”
He moved into the driver’s seat and took off. Roulier was not hurt.
“All the way through there was just divine guidance and protection,” Roulier said.
A woman saw her jump and gave her a ride.
“What has come to me since then is that Christmas message: Emmanuel, God with us. And I got to experience that in a very real way on the 23rd.”
She is not angry with the suspect.
“I pray for him. I want him to get help and I want to write him a letter, and he can have a new life.”
Police said Roulier’s SUV was found at Barona Casino. Police said the kidnapper paid a random man $40 to give him a ride to Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, but the man could not remember exactly where because he is not familiar with the area.