OSU Student Speaks Out After Attempting To Stop Abduction

  • 2/14/2019 6:32:12 PM
  • Jesse Smith
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - A frightening event took place on OSU Mansfield's campus earlier this week: A woman abducted at gunpoint, shouting for help - and a fellow student that tried to save her. Student Skylar Williams was abducted at gunpoint on February 11th. While many people reported seeing the abduction happen, one student actively tried to stop it from happening.

"Monday morning, I got here... I was running late for class, actually," admitted Austin Armstead, a student at the Ohio State University's Mansfield campus. "My class started at 11:15. I pulled in at about 11:30. I got my things, started walking, and I heard a scuffle. Scuffling, people yelling... I couldn't see them, but I could hear her yelling for help, so I just took off running."

Armstead says he ran towards the source of the yelling and soon saw a man wrestling a woman into a car.

"I got probably 20 feet away," Armstead recalled. "He had her coat... it was pulled over her face. She was trying to get away. He had a gun in his right hand. He looked up and he saw me. He pointed it at me, and he said, 'Don't try it, bro.' I'm probably ten feet away, and he's pointing it at me. I put my hands up."

The man with the gun, now identified as Ty'rell Pounds, was in the process of abducting Skylar Williams. After an hours-long search on Monday, law enforcement officials cornered Pounds on a stretch of highway in Kentucky. Pounds fatally shot Williams before he was shot by Kentucky State Police during the incident.

"I could just see in his eyes that he was really committed," Armstead said. "He knew what he was doing. He didn't want to let anybody stop him. The only thing that I could do at that point was just... watch him get her into the car and drive off, which was really hard. I wanted to do something, but... I really do believe if I would have gotten any closer - he didn't want to, but I feel like he would have (shot me). I would have been just another obstacle in his plan. I just feel bad that I couldn't help, considering that he had the weapon and it's just hard to not replay scenarios in your mind of what you would have done differently."

Armstead says he isn't interested in the public attention - only in making sure that Williams' family knows that someone tried to help.

"If I had a family member that this happened to, something like this... if they were yelling for help, I would want to know that somebody tried to help," Armstead said. "My condolences to both of the families. I can't imagine what they're going through."

Skylar Williams' family has set up a GoFundMe in her name to benefit Williams' and Pounds' infant son. Concerned parties can also donate clothing, diapers, or other necessities to the family through contact information provided with the GoFundMe link at (https://www.gofundme.com/f/skylar-williams-and-kylo).

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