In a video posted to TikTok earlier this month, Samantha MacIntyre, who is training for a half marathon, filmed herself as she ran in preparation for the race. However, as she was hitting her sixth mile of her eight-mile run, she noticed a man in “a red car” drive by her “twice”.
“Everytime he drives by me, he has an open window and is looking behind when he drives by,” she said in the video. “It’s making me really nervous.”
MacIntyre then described the car as a “red pontiac” and noted that she was documenting her run “just in case” something happened to her.
“I see the car parked up here,” she said at one point. “I do not feel good about this. I have to run by this car to get to my car though, there’s literally no way around.”
MacIntyre then acknowledged how unsafe she felt about going anywhere near the parked car, adding: “It’s just one of those things where it’s like, you don’t think it’s going to happen to you, until it happens to you.”
While continuing to film herself, MacIntyre then shared that she was going to have her parents pick her up instead, before documenting the car as the driver began pulling out of the parking spot.
The video then showed MacIntyre speaking to her neighbour and asking if she could stay in their yard until her parents came to pick her up.
“There’s this guy that keeps driving by and parking,” she could be heard saying in the background. “I’m just really nervous that he’s going to do something.”
She then filmed herself speaking to a police officer about the situation, during which she could be heard asking for tips on how to keep herself safe.
At the conclusion of her video, MacIntyre, who was sitting in a car, encouraged her viewers to stay alert when running.
“Just please be aware of your surroundings when you are going on runs,” she said. “Carry protection with you, just be safe. You have a gut feeling that something doesn’t feel right, please go with that gut feeling.”
She also noted how grateful she was that she called the police and her mother.
As of 22 September, MacIntyre’s video has more than 8.8m views, with TikTok users praising her for trusting her instincts and for how she handled the situation.
“I’m so proud of you for calling the police and asking for help and just all of it,” one viewer wrote.
“Smart girl,” another added. “This makes me cry. I have felt your fear. I’m glad you’re safe.”
A third person wrote: “Proud of you for listening to your gut and asking for help!!”
In a follow-up video, MacIntyre revealed that the police officer had called her to tell her that they’d found the man in the car and pulled him over.
She said that, even though the officer told her that the driver “didn’t have a [criminal] record,” that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t “done things and gotten away with it”.
During an interview with Today after the incident, MacIntyre said that the experience made her think about 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher, who was abducted and killed while on a morning run in Memphis, Tennessee, earlier this month.
“It really spooked me because as a fellow runner, I’m like oh my gosh, this could possibly happen to me,” she told the outlet.
She also revealed that she’s started running with an alarm, mace, and whistle, before noting that she wouldn’t let the experience prevent her from completing her half marathon.
“It was a really big accomplishment that I even got myself to do that half marathon because I really thought that I might not ever run again,” she said.
The Independent has contacted MacIntyre for comment.