According to a press release from the Highlands County Sheriff's Office, Cheryl Treadway and her children were being held against their will by her boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson. Nickerson didn't allow Treadway to make calls or write texts, so she used the Pizza Hut app to send a discreet call for help.
The following is from the Sheriff's Office press release:
According to the arrest report, the couple had been arguing throughout the day while Mr. Nickerson carried a large knife. When Ms. Treadway attempted to leave the residence to pick up the children from school, Mr. Nickerson grabbed her and took her cell phone. He then accompanied Ms. Treadway to pick up the children. Upon returning home, Ms. Treadway eventually convinced Mr. Nickerson to let her use the cell phone to order a pizza.
As can be seen in the Pizza Hut receipt, Treadway used the additional notes section of the online order form to write, "Please help. Get 911 to me," and "911hostage help!" There's something especially surreal about seeing the latter comment wedged between a free garlic topping and a $2.75 convenience charge.
Police arrived at the home and talked Nickerson into surrendering himself. No one was physically harmed. Local news channel WFLA has more details, including this quote from the Pizza Hut's manager, Candy Hamilton. "We've never seen that before," Hamilton, said. "I've been here 28 years and never, never seen nothing like that come through."