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Incredible: Hostage uses Pizza Hut app to silently ask for help

Published May 6th, 2015 5:25PM EDT
Pizza Hut Hostage

In an incredible story of MacGyver-esque ingenuity, a Tampa Bay woman named Cheryl Treadway used Pizza Hut’s mobile app to discreetly ask for help after her and her children were taken hostage by her husband, one Ethan Nickerson.

Armed with a knife, Nickerson took away Treadway’s cellphone, only to give it back to her temporarily after she slyly convinced him to let her order some food from Pizza Hut.

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With her smartphone in hand, Treadway fired up the Pizza Hut app and placed an order. Cleverly, Treadway added a special message in the “comments” or “special instructions” section that typically accompanies online order forms.

There, Treadway included a note asking that someone call 911 for her, while indicating that she was being held hostage.

Thankfully, the Pizza Hut manager who first saw the online order recognized Treadway as a frequent customer, thereby ensuring that her plea for help wasn’t casually discarded as a prank.

The Pizza Hut manager subsequently called the authorities who showed up to Nickerson’s residence about 20 minutes later and arrested him. He’s now being charged with aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, battery, false imprisonment and obstructing justice by depriving communication to law enforcement.

According to WFLA News, “deputies believe Nickerson may have been high on Meth at the time of the hostage situation.”

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.