A Florida woman used the comments section of a Pizza Hut order made from her smartphone on Monday afternoon to alert authorities that she and her children were being held hostage.
According to a Highlands County Sheriff’s Office press release, Cheryl Treadway had been arguing most of the day with her boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson, 26, who carried “a large knife.”
When Treadway attempted to leave the residence to pick up the children from school, Nickerson grabbed her and took her cell phone. He then accompanied Treadway to pick up the children. When they got back to the house, Treadway managed to convince Nickerson to let her use the cell phone to order a pizza which is when she sent the message to Pizza Hut at 3:40 p.m that wrote, “Please help. Get 911 to me” and “911hostage help!” Immediately after the pizza order was placed, Mr. Nickerson took the cell phone back from her.
The Pizza Hut employees recognized Treadway’s usual order of a “hand-tossed classic pizza with pepperoni” and took her plea for help seriously.
Officers were dispatched both to the Pizza Hut location and to Treadway’s home. When Lt. Curtis Ludden knocked on Treadway’s door, she came out with a small child in her arms and told them her other two children were inside still with Nickerson, who was armed with a knife, the release said.
Deputies escorted Treadway and the small child to safety and began to speak with Nickerson through a closed door. After about 20 minutes, Lt. Ludden was able to talk him into coming out, although Nickerson’s first words were “I’m not coming out because I know I’m going to jail.” The other two children were removed, unharmed from the home.
Nickerson, however, now faces aggravated assault with a weapon, battery, false imprisonment and obstructing justice charges. Nickerson remained in the Highlands County Jail Wednesday on a $45,000 bond, according to Patch.
“We’ve never seen that before,” the restaurant’s manager, Candy Hamilton, told WFLA. “I’ve been here 28 years and never, never seen nothing like that come through.”