Jaguars safety Earl Wolff was kidnapped and robbed at gunpoint in his hometown of Fayetteville, N.C. back in February, but very few details about the incident were released at the time. Jaguars spokesman Tad Dickman revealed that Wolff was "doing well," but he also asked for the media to respect his privacy in a tweet sent out in early March:
And outside of a few scattered news reports, there wasn't a whole lot of light shed on what happened to Wolff during his traumatic ordeal.
On Tuesday morning, Wolff finally decided to speak up about by what happened by releasing a lengthy first-person account of his experience through MMQB. He wrote a piece called "The Longest Night of My Life" that details exactly what he went through during the kidnapping/armed robbery, and it's even crazier than we could have imagined.
According to Wolff's story, it was just after midnight on February 23 when he left a friend's house in Fayetteville to make a five-minute drive to his mom's house for her birthday. But when he entered his 2011 Range Rover, which he had parked on the street outside of his friend's house, he says he was accosted by a man wielding some serious firepower:
"As I get in and reach for the seatbelt, someone yanks my door open. There’s a man wearing a black ski mask and pointing an AK-47 inches from my face."
“Give me the keys!” he barks. “And get out of the car!”
I freeze, wondering if my buddy is playing a trick on me. I wonder if it’s a sick joke. I babble, but words aren’t coming out of my mouth.
“Give me your wallet! Your phone!”
From there, Wolff was shoved into the backseat of the Range Rover by a man with a shotgun where he was sandwiched between two other men with shotguns. The four men then demanded money from him by threatening to kill him, but Wolff said he didn't have any money on him and he also told them that he only had about $400 in his checking account. At that point, he was slashed in the right knee twice with one of the guns.
After the armed men realized Wolff didn't have any money to give them, they forced him to go back to his friend's house to try to shake money out of him. But his friend slammed the door in his face when he knocked and refused to hand over any money. At that point, the men panicked and used zip ties to tie Wolff's arms and feet together. They also shoved an "itchy hat" over his face and forced him back into the Range Rover before picking up two more men who crammed into the back seat with Wolff.
What happened next was the worst part of the whole night for him:
"The car jolts to a stop. I am pulled out of the back seat and shoved onto the road. Lying on my back, I think, I can’t die this way. And then, in the distance, I hear the faintest sound of police sirens. The men hear it too, and they scurry into the car and speed away."
Wolff managed to survive the kidnapping, but he wasn't out of the woods yet. Once the men sped off in his Range Rover, he was left alone on a street and was forced to hop to a trailer park for assistance. He eventually managed to make it to a trailer with people inside and asked them for help. But one of those people pulled a gun on him and, despite his pleas for help, it nearly turned into a bad situation:
"He’s still pointing the gun at me. I know they don’t trust me.
“OK,” I say. “All I did is ask for help, if you’re not going to help me please let me leave.”
"I anticipate a shot being fired, so I fall down and roll on the ground. There’s a loud bang. Shot fired. I hear the men close the door, and I realize I can still feel my body. The shot was likely a warning, to scare me or anyone else who might have been lurking in the shadows."
Wolff finally freed himself from the zip ties and made it to a gas station where he was helped by a couple who pulled in with car troubles. And later, his Range Rover was found about seven miles from where he was first abducted. His credit cards were also found in the backseat of a 21-year-old man who was believed to be involved in the kidnapping and robbery. Bobby DeShawn Bailey was arrested on March 3 and charged with a whole list of offenses, including robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy, larceny, first-degree kidnapping, possession of marijuana, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. The other gunmen involved have also since been charged.
After reading Wolff's insane story, it's easy to see why it took him so long to talk about it. You can check out the entire story here.