A Florida woman who was being held hostage by her boyfriend came up with a clever way to alert authorities to her predicament.
WFLA reports that, on Monday, May 4, Cheryl Treadway was being held in her Highlands County home, along with her three children, by her boyfriend, 26-year-old Ethan Earl Nickerson. Nickerson allegedly kept Treadway in the house all day, while sharpening a large hunting knife.
At about 3:40 p.m., the local Pizza Hut received an order via the Pizza Hut phone app. Employees at the store recognized the order as being from a regular customer, but there was something unusual about it. In the comments that accompanied the order, there was this: “Please help. Get 911 to me.” A second comment said: “911 hostage help!”
Candy Hamilton, manager of the Pizza Hut, says that in her 28 years working there, she had never seen anything like it. Restaurant employees immediately called the police.
When Highland County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrived at the home, Treadway came running to them, carrying a small child. She told them that Nickerson was in the house, with her other two children, armed with a knife. After about a 20 minute standoff, Nickerson surrendered without incident. Authorities say they believe he may have been high on meth at the time the situation began.
The arrest report says that Nickerson and Treadway had been arguing throughout the day, while Nickerson brandished a large knife. When Treadway attempted to go pick up her children at school, Nickerson took her cell phone, and went with her. When they returned home, Treadway convinced Nickerson to let her use her phone to order a pizza, which is when she sent the message.
Nickerson is being held on charges of aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, battery, false imprisonment, and obstructing justice by depriving communication to law enforcement.
Treadway’s quick thinking led to a non-violent resolution of a potentially lethal situation. Making use of a phone app like this gives, not just women, but anyone in a similar situation, another tool to use to contact law enforcement. Modern technology is often maligned, but in some cases, it can be a life saver.
Here’s a report, from WFLA:
Featured image via screen shot from WFLA