A Florida mother of three is being hailed as a hero after using the Pizza Hut app on her phone to alert police that she and her children were being held hostage.
Cheryl Treadway, 25, was embroiled in a day-long dispute with her boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson, would not allow her or their three children to leave and was brandishing a large knife. He had also taken away her smartphone so that she could not call for help.
After hours of being unable to get to safety, Treadway convinced Nickerson, 26, to let her order pizza for their kids using her phone’s Pizza Hut app, according to Yahoo News.
“She told him, ‘The kids are hungry. Let’s order a pizza. Let’s get them some food,'” said Public Information Officer Nell Hays of the Highland County Sheriff’s Office.
Treadway placed an order for a classic pepperoni pizza and included an urgent note for help in the delivery instructions.
“Please help. Get 911 to me,” the note read. “911 hostage help!”
Pizza Hut manager Candy Hamilton said that she had never experienced a situation like this before.
“I’ve been here 28 years and never, never seen nothing like that come through,” she said.
When police arrived at the scene, Treadway was able to meet them at the front door with one of her children and was quickly escorted to safety, according to WFLA. She informed police that her boyfriend was armed with a knife and that there were two other children still inside.
After a 20 minute standoff, Nickerson peacefully surrendered to police. He is believed to have been high on Meth during his actions.
Responding officer Lt. Ludden said he thought Treadway was a hero for how she handled the situation.
“She just thought outside the box,” he said. “I think that’s amazing. I’m just blown away.”