Harrowing video shows a woman fleeing a kidnapper who held her captive for a year

The harrowing moment a New Jersey woman escaped her alleged kidnapper was captured on surveillance video at a gas station.

The victim was held captive for a year, Burlington County authorities said, before she escaped on Feb. 7. James W. Parrillo Jr., 57, has since been charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree strangulation, aggravated assault and third-degree criminal restraint.

Surveillance video obtained by NBC Philadelphia showed the woman arriving at the gas station followed closely by a man believed to be Mr Parrillo. She then runs inside and locks the door as the suspect tries to break in.

The victim told people at the gas station that she had been kidnapped a year ago. Employees took them to the back of the store while they waited for police to arrive.

Jamie Garthaus, who works at the gas station, said he heard screams before the woman burst through the gas station door.

“The lady came running, like she was barefoot, and she said: ‘He kidnapped me,'” said Herr Garthaus. “So we ran in and locked the door.”

“I could see the thumbprints like she had choking marks around her neck.”

The woman told police she planned the escape after noticing an inside latch on the door during a previous visit to the service station with Mr Parrillo.

They had previously lived in a rented room for two weeks. The victim claimed Mr Parrillo choked her during an argument the day they escaped.

James W. Parrillo Jr., 57, was charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree strangulation, aggravated assault and third-degree criminal restraint in kidnapping

(Office of New Jersey AG)

Halfway through the attack, she said, Mr Parrillo noticed there were people in the apartment and stopped attacking them.

She then ran to the store in 42 degrees in just a shirt and shorts.

Mr. Parrillo was arrested by New Jersey State Police the same day of the escape and is now being held in custody at the Burlington County Jail.

The woman met Mr. Parrillo, whom she knew as “Brett Parker,” at a gas station off Interstate 10 in New Mexico sometime in February 2022.

She reportedly agreed to drive him to Arizona and was in a voluntary relationship with Mr Parrillo for about a month before he allegedly became physically abusive while they were in California.

“During their time together, Parrillo allegedly took the woman’s phone, confiscated and used her debit cards, and isolating her from her family,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement. “The couple reportedly arrived in New Jersey sometime in December.”

Garden State authorities are now investigating whether he engaged in similar predatory behavior after they say they found information on social media.

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