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Updated: May 06, 2015

Police: Florida hostage pleads for help in online Pizza Hut order

By Samantha Jordan

WDBO – Orlando, Fla.

AVON PARK, Fla. —

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A quick-thinking Florida mom who was allegedly being held hostage by her boyfriend was able to get help by placing an online order to Pizza Hut with a secret comment alerting workers that she was in trouble.

According to WDAF-TV, Cheryl Treadway and her three children were being held captive inside her home by her boyfriend, 26-year-old Ethan Earl Nickerson, police said. She told police they had been fighting all day about his drug use and that Nickerson took her cellphone. When she tried to leave, Treadway told officers that Nickerson grabbed her arm, held a knife and walked around the house with it.

She was able to convince him to give her phone back so that she could order a pizza.

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Treadway ordered a pizza online and included the comment, “Please help! Get 911 to me.” She also wrote “911 hostage help.” The store manager, Alonia Hawk, recognized Treadway's name because she was a frequent customer and immediately called police.

"I was kinda scared. I was scared for the person," Hawk said.

Officers with the Highland's County Sheriff's Office say Nickerson was armed with a knife when they arrived and refused to come out. Treadway was able to escape the home with one of her kids but two had stayed inside. 

After 20 minutes of hostage negotiations, Nickerson was arrested and faces several charges including aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, battery and false imprisonment.

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