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On Monday afternoon, a woman in Highlands County, Florida ordered a pizza on Pizza Hut's mobile ordering app. In the special instructions section she wrote, "Please help. Get 911 to me.".
“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."
The restaurant contacted police and deputies responded to the delivery location. Once they arrived, Cheryl Treadway, who had placed the order and requested help, came out carrying a small child. She told police her boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson, was inside with a knife along with her two other children.
After about 20 minutes, police were able to convince Nickerson to come out peacefully and he was taken into custody. The two other children were removed from the home unharmed.
According to the arrest report, Nickerson had reportedly been carrying a large knife around while the couple was fighting. When Treadway attempted to leave to pick up her children from school, Nickerson grabbed her, took her cellphone, and insisted he accompany her.
Treadway told police she was able to convince Nickerson to allow her to use her cellphone to order a pizza online once they returned home. That's when she sent the message for help along with an order for a small hand-tossed classic pepperoni pizza.
“I don't know if I ever would have thought of it. I mean it's just something that she did so naturally. The boyfriend never knew about it until he saw us coming around the corner,” Lieutenant Curtis Ludden told WFLA.
Nickerson has been charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, battery, false imprisonment and obstructing justice by depriving communication to law enforcement.