HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 19-year-old Hickman County woman is safe after allegedly being kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend who deputies say threatened to kill her.

According to investigators, the woman helped save herself after making a discreet hand signal that told those around her she was in distress and needed help.

It all went down around 1:45 p.m. Sunday at a convenience store near Highway 100 and Highway 46 in Hickman County.

That’s where a man, now identified as 31-year-old Jonathan Smith, entered the convenience store with his ex-girlfriend, a 19-year-old Hickman County woman. Store employees described her as scared and frail.

According to cashier Angel Barnhill, the girl was in the candy aisle and made a hand gesture, seen on Tik Tok, that signaled that the woman was in distress, possibly from a domestic abuse situation.

According to Barnhill, another shopper saw the signal, recognized it, and then told employees who called 911.

Store personnel told News 2 they were afraid to act, fearing that Smith might be armed.

But the clerks did stall, pretending the registers were broken long enough for the Hickman County deputies to respond.

“It was a very dangerous situation a life was in danger,” Corporal Bryan Bailey told News 2.

Bailey said he arrived at the store just as Smith was driving his GMC Sierra out of the parking lot.

The 37-year-old deputy tried to pull over the truck, but Smith punched it.

According to the lawman, speeds at times reached almost 90 miles per hour and endangered many other motorists.

After approximately 15 minutes, Smith crashed his truck through a fence and down an embankment.

Deputy Bailey pulled his firearm and checked the truck, knowing the suspect is a kidnapping suspect who might be armed.

“I did draw my firearm, in case he had weapons,” Bailey said.

Bailey said that Smith had the components for a shotgun in the truck.

“At that time, I asked the female if she was okay, and the woman was okay,” Bailey recalled.

Bailey holstered his firearm, and switched to a stun gun, chasing the 31-year-old through a creek, over a barbed wire fence and into a field.

When Smith didn’t immediately obey commands, the deputy used the stun gun on the domestic violence suspect, quickly bringing the incident to a conclusion.

The victim would go on to tell officers she was in fear of her life from Smith.

“She asked multiple times for him to stop and he refused,” Bailey said. “He said, if he couldn’t have her, nobody would, and if she went and told anyone or tried to escape he would kill her.”

Cashier Angel Barnhill described what happened leading up to the chase.

“He seemed like he was very high on something. He was walking eye balls and bones. He seemed iffy. We were not sure what he would do if I grabbed her,” Barnhill said. “She looked so fragile and crying and very upset and looked like she might have been hit recently, her face was very red, and it looked like he wouldn’t let her leave his side.”

According to Barnhill, the frightened young woman made a discreet hand gesture, folding her four fingers over her thumb as a signal that she is in trouble.

That signal was seen by another customer, who relays the problem to store employees.

That’s when Barnhill called 911.

“Because she was trying to hide from him, so hiding in the candy aisle and doing this, and saying ‘help me,’ It was shocking,” Barnhill said. “I was scared what he may do.”

Barnhill said she saw the victim Monday. She describes the young woman as having bruises from where she hit the dash in the chase.

Jonathan Smith is facing numerous felony charges that include aggravate kidnapping, aggravated domestic assault and reckless endangerment.

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Deputies tell News 2 that Smith also has warrants out of Wilson County.