ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Never get in the car!
That advice ran through the head of a woman jogging in St. Petersburg when an armed man demanded she should do just that.
The sidewalks that line Coffee Pot Bayou are a popular spot for walkers, bikers and joggers.
Wednesday morning just before 6 a.m., Allie Coad, on her regular 4 1/2 mile run, spotted a suspicious car.
“I see this car kind of driving slowly down Coffee Pot Boulevard,” said Coad.
The driver asked for directions.
Coad helped out.
“At that point, he pulled out a gun and he says, ‘why don’t you get in the car,’” she said.
She did what cops always tell people to do….run!
“I was just in shock and so I just said, ‘no’ and I just sprinted in the opposite direction of where he was driving. ‘Cause at that point, he was either gonna shoot me and there was no option of getting in the car. I wasn’t getting in the car,” said Coad.
She ran to the first person she saw and called her dad and police.
People who use these paths are on heightened alert.
“It’s scary. I think it’s important to come out when other people are out, obviously. I try to bring a dog with me,” said Susan Holloway.
Police suggest carrying an alarm or pepper spray.
“Try to vary your route. Change it up a little bit so that you’re not always gonna be at the same point at the same time,” said Yolanda Fernandez with the St. Petersburg Police Department.
Coad’s jogging routine will continue.
“Have your guard up and don’t get in the car,” she said.
Coad describes the car as a pale or burnt orange Scion or Mazda cross-over.
Cops plan extra patrols in the area.
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