This is just amazing. One woman and her three children are alive and well thanks to some quick thinking and a very unexpected app.
According to WFLA in Florida, Cheryl Treadway and her three children were being held hostage by her boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson, who is believed to be high on meth at the time. During an argument, he was holding a large knife, took Treadway's phone and even accompanied her to pick up her children from school.
When they returned back home, Treadway convinced Nickerson to let her use her phone to order a pizza from Pizza Hut for the kids, since he wasn't letting them leave the house. Nickerson was watching her while she placed the order and took it back immediately when she was done, not thinking anything of it.
It turns out Treadway included the message "Please help. Get 911 to me" and "911hostage help! See a picture of the receipt bellow:
Pizza Hut employees recognized Treadway because she is a regular customer and they then alerted the Highlands County Sheriff's Office. Deputies responded, and when Treadway answered the door to get the pizza, she and her children were taken to safety without incident.
According to WFLA, Nickerson has since been 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.
If you were in a crisis and needed rescue, you might think your pizza app would be the least helpful.
“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 said.
It's not the first time we've seen apps and social media used in heroic rescues. These are some of my favorite stories with happy endings, all thanks to technology.
- Click here to see how a kidnapped boy used an iPhone and iPad to get rescued
- Click here to see how Facebook rescued a trapped hiker.
- Click here to see how a kidnapped boy was rescued with a Facebook message.