An Acadiana woman is speaking out tonight exclusively to News 10 about her story of allegedly almost being abducted while running in a local neighborhood.
Yolanda Williams says she was running along Pont Des Mouton Road in Lafayette Sunday morning.
She was by herself enjoying her morning jog, but she noticed something wasn’t right— and became frightened when she saw a man following her.
“I was terrified. Like I said, I was by myself, and not only me being by myself, I didn’t see anyone. No one was around and like I said at that time, I couldn’t turn into the apartment complex. I couldn’t take a left and I was like, ‘Oh My God, what am I going to do,’ and so yes, I was terrified like really fearing for my life because I was aware of what’s been going on. I was like ‘what does he want. What is this man’s intent.”
A FaceBook live video that Williams posted Sunday morning has gone viral.
With tears running down her face, she explains the terrifying incident.
“I’m just running all over the neighborhood y’all and I’m sorry y’all I’m so nervous,” explained Williams.
“I don’t want to live in fear. I don’t want to live in fear but all this stuff on Facebook and all this stuff going on, it’s really starting to get to me and give me anxiety when things happen.”
Williams usually runs with others in a group, but this time she decided to run by herself in a local neighborhood.
“I was running,” said Williams. “I noticed this blue truck passed on the side of me and he was going slow so I’m just noticing he’s going slow so I continue to run and I’m running in the same direction as he’s going and he gets to the intersection, the next intersection where you have to take a left because you can’t go right or straight so he makes the left and I continue to run towards that area and then when I get to that intersection I take a left and when I take the left, I noticed he’s at the next intersection and he’s stopped. He’s not even moving.”
Williams said she started to panic. “I’m wondering what is he doing. Why is he not moving and I just continue to run, and I’m just like what’s going on, and then next thing you know, he backs up and then he turns around and comes towards me again, and when he did that, then it started to concern me. I was like what’s going on,” added Williams
Thankfully, a nearby woman helped.
“Thank God this lady came out of her house and she was walking to her car and when I saw the lady, I just started screaming, ‘Ma’am, ma’am, ma’am, please, please wait, wait, wait, wait, ma’am, don’t leave, don’t leave.’ I said, ‘this man is after me,’ and so I was still running. I was running towards her because she wasn’t right by me and I’m hollering, and thank God the lady did not get in her car or run away from me.”
News 10 asked, “What would you say if anything that you learned from this encounter?”
Williams answered, “My lesson was that I need to know, ‘hey I am a strong woman and yes, I can do a lot of things by myself, but I have to be alert and aware that people are out there looking for women to abduct them.”
As for running again, Williams said, “Right now, I’m really going through a lot of anxiety about what happened to me so I don’t know. I’m going to think about it, pray about it, and God’s going to give me peace about it, but I will be running believe that.”
News 10 reached out to Lafayette Police who said an investigation into the incident is on-going.