A Kansas City woman opened her vehicle's trunk to find a man inside.
When people think about staying safe from an intruder in their car, most take a peek in their backseat. But one woman found her estranged husband in her car's trunk and was smart enough to get proof of his crime with her cell phone.
"I just had a feeling that he had been in my car," said Tiyah Poteat.
Poteat suspected something was up when she noticed her car's mirror askew, then saw the protection order she kept tucked under the console splayed open.
Poteat suspected her estranged husband had gone through her car so she parked at C.A. Burke School, a Hickman Mills elementary school, where she'd just dropped off her daughter. Poteat decided to check her car's trunk to see if he'd rifled through it, too.
"I didn't put it past him to escalate and try to come after me again, but I didn't expect to find him in my trunk," she said.
Hiding in her vehicle's trunk, Poteat found her estranged husband whom she had a protection order against. She tried to shut it but he pushed his way out, and that's when her next instinct kicked in.
"So I grabbed my phone and decided to take a video of him being there just because I know with that kind of stuff you need to have proof," she said.
The video Poteat took is now in police custody, along with her husband.
Shelton Poteat, who'd been in divorce proceedings with his wife, is now charged with tampering, stalking and violation of a protection order.
Poteat noticed the seat belt was jammed into the locking mechanism of her car's back seat and suspects he planned to push his way through after the kids were gone.
"I don't think he anticipated me opening the trunk that morning but I thank God that I had an intuition to do so and didn't decide to put it off," she said.
Once a substitute teacher and now a tutor, Poteat's hoping others can learn from her experience.
She said she's seen far too many women give up out of frustration in a situation like hers and hopes her story inspires them to be persistent and vigilant.
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