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Hostage alerts police using a pizza delivery app

A large pepperoni with a side of call the police saved a woman and her three children after they were held hostage by the woman’s knife-wielding partner.

Arguably one of the greatest innovations to hit mobile devices in the last decade or so has been the ability to order delicious pizzas through dedicated mobile apps. But chances are you never considered that such technology could also be used to call for help when you find your life and your children in danger.

Floridian mother of three, 25-year-old Cheryl Treadway was reported to have been arguing with her boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson, during the course of Tuesday whilst the man held a knife.

After confiscating her phone so she couldn’t call for help and preventing her from leaving the house on her own, both Treadway and Nickerson drove to pick up their children from school and returned to the house. Treadway then requested that she use her phone to order the children a pizza, which Nickerson allowed.

Treadway made use of the comments section when placing an order through Pizza Hut’s mobile app which read, ‘Please help. Get 911 to me.’ Once the order made its way to the nearby restaurant, the manager, recognising Treadway as a regular customer took the comment seriously and notified the police who proceeded to investigate.

The officers were able to retrieve Treadway and one of her children before arresting Nickerson and ensuring the two remaining kids were also safe. It transpired that Nickerson had been high on methamphetamine at the time of the incident but luckily nobody was hurt.

It was an ingenious use of a mobile app to alert the authorities when other means of communicating with the outside world were unavailable to her and we’re glad to hear that nobody was harmed in the ordeal.

Whilst the order was clearly processed, reports never confirmed whether or not Treadway and her kids did receive their requested order of a large pepperoni pizza and a side of garlic bread. We can only hope though.

If you feel that you need to contact the police in an emergency, you can download the Pizza Hut app (iOS, Android) from your respective app store, although we’d strongly recommend calling 911 for those across the pond instead, an 999 for you Brits reading this. Also understand that the police or any of the other emergency services are unable to deliver pizza – don’t try it, they probably won’t appreciate it.


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