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Woman held hostage with 3 children uses pizza ordering app to get help

By Mason White 10:43 AM May 7, 2015
Ethan Earl Nickerson 

By: Mahesh Sarin
(Scroll down for video) A woman who was held hostage by a knife wielding man, managed to get help after he allowed her to order pizza.

Cheryl Treadway of Highlands County, Florida, saved her 3 children and herself from harm when she ordered a pizza with a secret message that she was being held hostage.

Police received a call from Pizza Hut in Avon Park around 3:40 a.m. on Monday, saying that a woman placed an online order for a small classic hand-tossed pizza with pepperoni.

Under the comments section, there was a message asking them to send help and call 911 as the client was being held hostage.

Deputies responded to the Pizza Hut and to the home of the woman.

Arriving at the house, deputies found Treadway carrying a small child in her arms. She told deputies that her boyfriend, 26-year-old Ethan Earl Nickerson, was in the house armed with a knife and that her other two children were also in the house with him.

After she was escorted to safety, the deputies approached the house. After about 20 minutes, officers were able to convince Nickerson to cooperate with them.

The other two children were removed from the home safely.

Deputies believe Nickerson may have been high on drugs at the time when he took his girlfriend and their children hostage.

According to the arrest report, the couple had been arguing throughout the day, and Nickerson armed himself with a large knife.

When Treadway attempted to leave the residence to pick up the kids from school, Nickerson grabbed her and took her cellphone. Treadway then escorted her to pick up the children.

After returning home, Treadway finally convinced Nickerson to allow her to use the cellphone to order a pizza. That is when she sent the message for help to Pizza Hut.

Immediately after the pizza order was placed through the app, Nickerson took the cellphone away from her, according to the arrest report.

Nickerson was charged aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, battery, false imprisonment and obstructing justice by depriving communication to law enforcement.