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Kidnapped victim jumped from car during chase

A Gastonia woman says she jumped from a speeding car to save her life. She's one of three women who were held hostage during a wild police chase on Highway 321 in Gaston County.

It didn't end well.

A demolished car is all that's left after a wild ride for the three women held hostage.

Police say it started when 47-year-old Freddie Byrd stabbed his ex-girlfriend.

“He just jabbed it one time and it started pouring blood,” one woman described. The victims asked that their identities be hidden.

Police say Byrd then forced the stabbing victim, another ex-girlfriend and that woman's daughter to drive around Gastonia.

The daughter managed to convince Byrd to stop for beer. She used that opportunity to get help.

”When I walked into the store I told them we were being held hostage and to call the police,” she recalled.

Police arrived a few minutes later, spotted Byrd and held a gun to the driver side window, ordering him out of the car. Instead, the women say, Byrd took off.

“He said, ‘I’m gonna shoot,’ and he said, ‘Shoot,’ and then he backed up and he said, ‘you gonna die,’ and that’s when he went on the high speed chase,” one of the victims shared.

She says Byrd was going more than 100 miles per hour. She was sure it would end in a wreck.

“I thought we were gonna die, we’re gonna die. I was thinking, ‘I gotta get out of this car.’”

When he slowed the car after hitting a sign the victim took her chance to get out.

“I just like dove out of the car,” she says, “He turned; he almost hit me with the car.”

Byrd slammed into a power line a few minutes later seriously injuring the lone woman in the car and hurting himself badly enough that he wore a neck brace to his first court appearance Friday afternoon.

Byrd faces multiple charges for kidnapping, assault, robbery and more. Police say he also spit on officers and a nurse at the hospital where he was treated.

He's held on a $500,000 bond.

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