VALLEY, AL (WTVM) – What started out as a normal Saturday night working at the store she and her husband opened 52 years ago, ended up being the scariest nights of Dale Milner's life. She says she was attacked by a customer she'd seen in her business before.
"He came walking on up to the counter real fast and grabbed me around my waist and snatched me over the counter," Milner told WTVM in an interview at her home Monday.
Valley Police Chief Tommy Weldon says 42-year-old James Pollard dragged Milner out of her store and forced her into his truck.
"I said, 'Can I move?' and he said, 'No, stay where you are and lay down," Milner said.
Driving on dirt roads, the victim says Pollard stopped and raped her.
"Mister Pollard is a registered sex offender. He was convicted in 1997 of rape 1st degree in Chambers County and received a 10 year sentence. He also has an assault 2nd degree conviction on his record out of Ozark, Alabama," said Valley Police Chief Tommy Weldon.
Weldon says Pollard planned on dropping the elderly woman back off at her store and taking off.
"He said, 'If you don't call the law, within one month, I'll come back and ask you on a date,'" Milner revealed of her alleged attacker.
Pollard didn't make it far. Witnesses gave police a description of his truck and after a short chase, he was arrested. Officers say they found Ms. Milner in the passenger seat, covered in blood.
"I am thankful that I got out of it alive. I didn't think I was going to get out of it. I thought I was going to be killed. They need to put him away for a long time," Milner added.
He is being held in the Chambers County Detention Center.
James Pollard appeared before a Chambers County District Court Judge Tuesday on kidnapping and sex-related charges. His bond was set at $1.5 million.