Woman Escapes Hostage Situation Through Ingenious Use of the Pizza Hut App

Woman Escapes Hostage Situation Through Ingenious Use of the Pizza Hut App
Image credit: Shutterstock

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
2 min read

As the pizza industry continues to embrace digital, one woman found an unconventional way to use Pizza Hut's app to escape a potentially dangerous situation.

On Monday, a woman in Highlands County, Fla., used Pizza Hut's app to report a hostage situation, reports WFLA. The woman, Cheryl Treadway, had been threatened by her knife-wielding boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson. Treadway had no way to escape or call for help, as Nickerson had taken her phone and trapped her and her three children in the home.

However, Treadway convinced Nickerson to allow her to order pizza using the Pizza Hut app. In the comments, usually an area reserved for designations such as "extra ranch on the side," Treadway wrote "911hostage help!"

Related: 4 High-Tech Ways to Order Food That Didn't Exist Last Year

Pizza Hut employees quickly called authorities and police were dispatched to the house. Treadway greeted the police at the door and escaped with one child. Police managed to convince Nickerson to surrender. 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.

The urban legend of a woman escaping domestic violence under the ruse of ordering pizza has been around since at least 2010, when the Norwegian Woman's Shelter Association created a public service announcement using this scenario, reports the myth-debunking website Snopes. This year, a similar PSA featuring a woman calling 911 while pretending to order pizza became the first ever Super Bowl commercial to address domestic violence and sexual assault. Whether or not these PSAs are based in reality, in this instance the pizza chain certainly came through, giving someone the means to find a way out of a scary situation. 

Related: Pizza Hut Is Testing Uber-Esque Delivery Tracking Tech

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Amplify your business knowledge and reach your full entrepreneurial potential with Entrepreneur Insider’s exclusive benefits. For just $5 per month, get access to premium content, webinars, an ad-free experience, and more! Plus, enjoy a FREE 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur