Woman being held hostage uses Pizza Hut order to raise alarm and summon the police

On Monday afternoon, the Pizza Hut in Avon Park, Fla., received an online order from a frequent customer for a large pepperoni pizza. But in the notes field of the order, Cheryl Treadway, who allegedly had been held hostage by her knife-wielding boyfriend, included a plea for help.

pizza hut

“911hostage help!” the receipt said, according to a copy of the document obtained by Tampa’s NBC affiliate, WFLA.

I had a call that started out pretty dumb, but was actually pretty serious:
“911, where is you emergency?”
“123 Main St.”
“Ok, what’s going on there?”
“I’d like to order a pizza for delivery.” (oh great, another prank call).
“Ma’am, you’ve reached 911”
“Yeah, I know. Can I have a large with half pepperoni, half mushroom and peppers?”
“Ummm…. I’m sorry, you know you’ve called 911 right?”
“Yeah, do you know how long it will be?”
“Ok, Ma’am, is everything ok over there? do you have an emergency?”
“Yes, I do.”
“..And you can’t talk about it because there’s someone in the room with you?” (moment of realization)
“Yes, that’s correct. Do you know how long it will be?”
“I have an officer about a mile from your location. Are there any weapons in your house?”
“Can you stay on the phone with me?”
“Nope. See you soon, thanks”
As we dispatch the call, I check the history at the address, and see there are multiple previous domestic violence calls. The officer arrives and finds a couple, female was kind of banged up, and boyfriend was drunk. Officer arrests him after she explains that the boyfriend had been beating her for a while. I thought she was pretty clever to use that trick. Definitely one of the most memorable calls.

Alarmed Pizza Hut employees called the sheriff’s office after noticing the message, police said.

“We’ve never seen that before,” store manager Candy Hamilton told WFLA. “I’ve been here 28 years and never, never seen nothing like that come through.”

According to police, when they arrived at the home, Treadway and a young child greeted them at the door.

“She comes running toward us, but two kids are still in the house with a person who’s on narcotics and you don’t know their mindset with a knife, and we need to get them out,” said Lt. Curtis Ludden of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office.

After the two returned to Treadway’s home with the children, she was able to convince Nickerson to let her use her phone and place an online pizza order at their local Pizza Hut in Avon Park. Treadway included the message “Please help. Get 911 to me,” in the section for her delivery instructions, as well the message “911hostage help!”

Chef Alonia Hawk spotted the message on the order. “I was kinda scared,” she told WTSP. Adding “I was scared for the person.”

pizza hut Ethan Earl Nickerson

Nickerson had barricaded himself in the home, but Ludden persuaded him to surrender after about 20 minutes. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, battery, false imprisonment and obstructing justice by depriving communication to law enforcement.


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