Man behind bars, 3 female gas station employees hailed as heroes after helping pregnant woman

HORSE CAVE, Ky. – Three young women working at a Horse Cave gas station are being hailed as heroes after they stepped in to help a pregnant woman who told police the man with her had kidnapped her.

It was a normal day for Brandy West, Haley Silvers and Ashley Vincent working at the Shell gas station in Horse Cave when a customer came in scared and asked for help.

According to police, Antonio Smith of Louisville and his girlfriend, who had a protective order against him, stopped at a the gas station.

While inside, the woman asked a worker for help and told them she was pregnant.

West, Silvers and Vincent began trying to get the pregnant woman to safety when a physical altercation began.

Smith wouldn’t let go of the woman, according to West.

“We were trying to just pry him from her and he was not letting go. He was screaming that he loved her, all the while, hitting her in the belly, and she had made us aware that she was pregnant so we were just trying to protect her child as well as her,” said West.

Police showed up to witness a bystander and the young women trying to restrain Smith, according to Horse Cave Police Officer Derek Murphy.

“The perpetrator, he had a handful of her hair and was punching her with his free hand when I pulled in,” said Murphy.

Murphy said once Smith was in the police car, Smith assaulted him.

“While he was in the car and I was buckling him in, he had spit in my eyes,” said Murphy.

Silvers said she didn’t even really think about it, she just wanted to protect the woman and her baby.

“I wasn’t scared like most people would think. It was kind of like the adrenaline rush, you know, it was crazy. I didn’t really think about what I had done until after it was all done that night,” said Silvers.

The woman told police later Smith had kidnapped her.

In jail, Smith agreed to talk about the incident.

“I don’t know about no fight,” Smith said when asked about the incident.

Smith also denied that the video showed him hitting the pregnant woman and said instead he grabbed her and pulled her.

Horse Cave Police Chief Heather Childress said, as a mother, she’s so thankful the women stepped up to protect the woman and her unborn baby.

“The female(s) stepped up to the plate in a situation that a lot of times a lot of men would not have stepped up in. I’m very very proud of those young ladies for the initiative and the care that they showed and the empathy for somebody else’s life and safety,” said Childress.

Both mother and baby are doing fine.

Smith is charged with fourth-degree assault domestic violence, third-degree assault of a police officer with communicable bodily fluids, second-degree criminal mischief, and two counts of wanton endangerment of the woman and her unborn baby.

Smith may face additional charges once the case is presented to a grand jury.

He is scheduled for a pretrial conference at 8:30 a.m. April 19 at 8:30.

As of March 19, Judge Derek Reed set Smith’s combined bond at $7,000 prior to the two wanton endangerment charges being made against Smith.