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Tied-up woman uses toes to IM for help

An Atlanta woman who was tied up early Tuesday during a home invasion toe-typed her way to freedom, according to news reports. Though the burglar had taken her phone, her iPod — and her car — he left her laptop, and that's what she used to send an instant message for help.

Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, an armed thief broke into 39-year-old Amy Windom's home, hit her and tied her to her bed, according to reports from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, WSB Radio and the New York Daily News. As the suspect went through her belongings, she pleaded for her safety, and asked that he not take her laptop. She said it had files she needed and was equipped with a tracking device.

After an hour casing Windom's belongings, the thief took her cell phone, iPod and digital camera and then made off with her car, a 2009 Acura. Still, it took her several more hours to come up with the idea that saved her.

Using her feet, she opened her bag. "I thought, I've got nothing to lose so I'll give this a shot, and I pulled the laptop over and propped it up on top of the down comforter at such an angle I could see both the keys and the screen," Windom told The TODAY Show.

She navigated to AOL Instant Messenger, but once she had the program open, she found it hard to type with her toes alone. "I started trying to type with the toes and realized that your big toe is just too big to type on keys, and you can't get your little toes curled around to type on individual keys," Windom is quoted as saying.

Her solution was to grip the tip of the power cord between her toes and peck out messages to her boyfriend, John Hilton: "CALL 911 POLICE."

"It took a little while to work it out, but I used the right toe on the touch pad to move the mouse around and then I could right or left click with the right toe and then I used my left foot to clamp down on the power cord and hit the various keys as best I could to type out the messages," Windom told The TODAY Show.

Hilton was surprised when he saw the messages. "I didn't want to believe it," he told The TODAY Show. "I was thinking it had to be a joke. But she's a very serious person, and I knew this wasn't something to make light of. I immediately did what she asked and called the police."

Though police responded immediately, they did question Hilton's call. "There was a bit of suspicion there for a while," he told The TODAY Show. "They were kind of curious why I was calling and I had to describe to them exactly what was happening, sadly."

"Thank God my AT&T DSL was working and that I had Wi-Fi that was working, and that John was online at 5 a.m.," Windom said.

"I don't have the world's prettiest feet, but I think I'll keep them," Windom is quoted as saying. "They came in pretty handy."

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Windom's car was recovered late Tuesday night, and that police are investigating the possibility that the burglar may have robbed and tied up two other women in a similar home invasion last month.