Monday 20 November 2017

Hostage uses Pizza Hut app to escape 'abusive' boyfriend

Ordering a pizza helped a woman allegedly being threatened with a knife alert police

The note sent on the order
The note sent on the order

Mark Molloy

A woman being ‘held hostage’ by her 'abusive' boyfriend escaped by asking for help through the Pizza Hut app.

Cheryl Treadway, 25, sent a secret message with her online order asking for police assistance.

The mother-of-three was being held against her will by her boyfriend Ethan Nickerson, 26, who had a knife and was high on meth, it is alleged.

She told police she felt her life was in danger when he began sharpening the knife in front of her following an argument.

Ms Treadway, from Florida, convinced him to let her order a pizza on her phone before she added the message: “Please help. Get 911 to me. 911 hostage help!”

Employees at the Avon Park Pizza Hut recognised the address and name and alerted police to the situation.

Officers arrived at the property and escorted the mother and a child to safety before arresting the suspect. Two other children in the property were unharmed.

“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.”

Officers praised Ms Treadway for her quick-thinking which helped get her children to safety.

 “If I'm standing there with a knife in my hand, sharpening it, and looking at you in a menacing way and make a statement that, ‘I'm going to kill you,’ and I've already done some violence to you, you know how are you going to take that message?” said Lieutenant Chris Ludden of Highlands County Sheriff's Office.

Nickerson was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, battery, false imprisonment and obstructing justice by depriving communication to law enforcement.

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