Cheryl Treadway was at home Monday with her youngest child and her boyfriend Ethan Nickerson. Nickerson took Treadway’s cell phone and went with her to pick up her two older children. He had a knife and threatened violence. Treadway was able to borrow her phone back just long enough to send an order to Pizza Hut with their online ordering app.
Highlands County Sheriff's Office investigators say at 3:40 p.m. on Monday, May 4th, an online pizza order, for a small hand-tossed classic pizza with pepperoni, was received by the Pizza Hut in Avon Park. Under the comments section there was a message asking them to send help and call 911 as the customer was being held hostage.
Pizza Hut employees recognized the order as being from a frequent customer. But, the comments were out of the ordinary so they called the Highlands County Sheriff's Office to investigate the situation.
“We've never seen that before,” the restaurant's manager, Candy Hamilton, said. “I've been here 28 years and never, never seen nothing like that come through."
Highlands County deputies went to the address and escorted Treadway and her youngest child out. They negotiated with Nickerson for about twenty minutes before he surrendered peacefully. Lieutenant Curtis Ludden, who negotiated with Nickerson, spoke with WFLA.