Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters Reveals How She Once Escaped 5 Armed Carjackers
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, 22, had a near brush with death before she was crowned Miss Universe. While chatting on HollywoodLife.com‘s podcast, she revealed just how she escaped a violent attack. Back in her native, South Africa, Demi was driving alone to an event, when her she stopped her vehicle at a red light, or as they say in South Africa, a “red robot.” Before she knew it, her vehicle — which was packed in bumper to bumper traffic — was surrounded by five armed men looking to steal anything she had. Click here to see the moment Demi was crowned Miss Universe.
“I was carjacked and held at gunpoint,” Demi recalled, adding that the five armed men nearly kidnapped her after pushing her back into her own vehicle. “It was broad daylight, half past five in the afternoon,” she said. “I was on my way to an event… literally half a mile from my house… stopped at a red robot [light], and five guys surrounded my vehicle. Three of them were armed and nearly pointed the gun towards my head.”
Demi explained how she had nowhere to go and no escape route. “I was really trapped in traffic,” she said. “There was nothing I could do. But, also the course I did prior [with Women Empowered] to the incident told me that you should surrender immediately because it can get really violent. If you resist, they will shoot.”
“I immediately surrendered, put the car into neutral, pull up the handbrake, took off the safety belt, got out of the car, put my hands up and they took my phone; it was lying on the seat. I said, ‘Just take everything.’ It can be replaced. My ID book and all that, although it’s a hassle, it can be replaced. I just thought that the second destination will not be better than the first so I just needed to get away from there. When I was about to run away, he [one of the carjackers] pulled me back and shoved me back into the car and said, ‘Get in. You’re going with us.’ I don’t know why. That was the moment I decided, ‘No, I’m not going with you.'”
“I punched the guy in the throat. I managed to get back up on my feet and I pumped him in the throat and it gave me a window of opportunity to run away. The other four men were on the passenger side ready to get in so I was able to run. Then, there was one man at the back of the vehicle that I saw in the rear mirror and one by my door, which I punched in the throat… He got so frightened, he backed off, obviously, he was choking and didn’t expect that to happen. It gave me two seconds to run away.”