Highlands County, Fla., police were able to rescue a mother and her three children allegedly being held hostage by her knife-wielding boyfriend after the woman made a Pizza Hut order online for one large, hand-tossed pepperoni pizza with special instructions to “Please help. Get 911 to me.”

Employees at the Pizza Hut in Avon Park, Fla., recognized Cheryl Treadway’s name as a regular customer, and alerted police Monday when they received her order and message for help. “We’ve never seen that before,” Candy Hamilton, the restaurant’s manager, told WFLA. “I’ve been here 28 years and never, never seen nothing like that come through.”

Police arrived at Treadway’s home later that day, where she told cops that she and her boyfriend, Ethan Earl Nickerson, 26, had been arguing most of the day while he held a knife in his hand. When she tried to leave the house to pick up her two children from school, she told police, Nickerson took her cell phone and accompanied her to the the school.

Some time after returning home with her kids, Treadway apparently convinced Nickerson to let her order a pizza on her cell phone, where she left a message for Pizza Hut to call the police. After about 20 minutes of negotiating through Treadway’s front door, WFLA reports, cops were able to get Nickerson to leave the house.

Nickerson was charged by police with aggravated assault with a weapon, battery, false imprisonment, and obstructing justice by depriving communication to law enforcement, NBC News reports.


Image via WFLA. Contact the author at aleksander@gawker.com .