Woman Uses Pizza Hut App To Save Her Children’s Lives

Ordering pizza is always a reliable way to fix your food troubles. Perhaps you don’t have anything at home to cook one night, or you’re simply too lazy to fire up the stovetop and make something yourself. Ordering pizza will always be one of the most convenient food options, but did you know it can also help save your life? A man in Avon Park, Florida, threatened a woman, and she responded by opening her pizza app… read on to learn what happened next.

A Crazy Boyfriend

Cheryl Treadway selfie in car
raedalahmadi1/Twitter
raedalahmadi1/Twitter

In May 2015, it was a warm day in Florida when Cheryl Treadway found herself in a tough situation. It was just her and her boyfriend alone when she realized he had lost his mind.

She wasn’t just taking a wild guess that he was going crazy. Treadway and her boyfriend Ethan Nickerson were arguing all morning, and then things got even more worrisome. Nickerson pulled a knife out on her after they finished battling with their words!

Kids Were Safe

16-pizza-hut-rescue-kids
Light Yagami/Pinterest
Light Yagami/Pinterest

Treadway and Nickerson share three young kids. Thankfully, the children were at school when the 26-year-old pulled the large knife on Treadway. He didn’t stop there, though; he also took away her cellphone!

Treadway was in Nickerson’s grasps, and there was very little she could do. Flight or flight kicked in, and the mother of three began thinking quick on her feet for a way out of this dangerous situation. What could she do to escape this?

Speaking To Dad

school yard pick up
Richard Chivers/View Pictures/UIG via Getty Images
Richard Chivers/View Pictures/UIG via Getty Images

In a situation like this, what would you do? Treadway’s maternal instincts kicked in as she figured she would appeal to Nickerson’s sense of fatherhood. That was her best option at the moment.

Treadway told Nickerson she had to pick the kids up from school, hoping it would be enough to calm the knife-wielding boyfriend down. It was a clever thought in the heat of the moment as she knew he cared about the kids.

Picking Up The Kids

line of traffic in florida
Angel Valentin/Getty Images
Angel Valentin/Getty Images

Like she hoped, Nickerson agreed for her to go pick up the children, but only under one condition. He had to accompany her as she did this task for obvious reasons. He couldn’t have her going to the cops and telling.

All of them drove home together, but the car ride must have been incredibly quiet. The kids didn’t suspect a thing, unaware of the knife their dad pulled out on their mom not too long ago…

Stuck In A Tight Space

mother and son pizza rescue
Light Yagami/Pinterest
Light Yagami/Pinterest

Now that everyone had made it back home, Treadway knew she was in a more difficult situation than before. Earlier it was only her, but now she had the kids to worry about in this sticky predicament.

Treadway couldn’t just pick up all the children and run, and she didn’t have her cellphone. Options were running low for the mother, but she had to figure out a way to abandon this environment before someone got hurt.

One Step At A Time…

Pizza to the rescue
illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Time was running short for Treadway and her kids. As her mind raced, Treadway scrambled to come up with a new idea that could save her from this dark plot. Once again, she pulled the parenthood card.

“The kids are hungry,” she said. “Let’s order a pizza. Let’s get them some food.” Treadway figured he couldn’t turn down that request and it was the best she could come up with at the time. Besides, who doesn’t want a slice of pizza?

Pizza Hut Delivery

pizza hut save
Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Pizza Hut
Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Pizza Hut

As farfetched as the idea might seem, it ended up working. Nickerson considered the request, and perhaps his hunger was taking over. He also knew the kids were hungry as well, so why not?

Who else do you call when your stomach is growling, and you’re short on options? That’s why Treadway suggested it, and it looked like it was going to work. He ended up letting her make the order on her phone but only using the Pizza Hut app…

Figuring Things Out

the pizza hut app on a phone screen
Yu Chun Christopher Wong/S3studio/Getty Images
Yu Chun Christopher Wong/S3studio/Getty Images

We know what you’re thinking, now that Treadway had her phone back, she could quickly call the cops and have them save the day. It wasn’t that simple. Nickerson kept the knife on his target.

Treadway also worried about the possibility of him hearing her call the police. He could snap at a moment’s notice and use the blade to hurt someone! Once again, she had to figure something out before things got more out of hand…

Paying Close Attention

pizza-hut-app-01
Light Yagami/Pinterest
Light Yagami/Pinterest

If this had happened just a few years earlier, Treadway would have been out of luck because mobile ordering wasn’t possible yet. Luckily, today’s technology allows people to order food from their phones anytime hunger strikes! When you make an order on the Pizza Hut app, there’s a comment section to include specific directions.

Right away, she knew what she had to do. Instead of asking for extra cheese or for them to burn the crust slightly, she used this section to her advantage. But only time would tell if her plan would work…

Send 911!

the pizza hut receipt says
Light Yagami/Pinterest
Light Yagami/Pinterest

Treadway continued with her order and completed it as usual. The only thing is she included a very special message for the kind folks at Pizza Hut to pick up on.

Other than the order of a large pepperoni pizza, Treadway added “Please help. Get 911 to me. 911hostage help!” After she sent it, she closed her eyes and waited for her fate to unravel. Do you think Pizza Hut Employees sent the proper help for this situation?

Taken Aback

pizza hut guys were suprised
Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The order arrived at Pizza Hut, and the employees couldn’t believe it. Meanwhile, Treadway was still at home hoping her hail mary would pull through for the sake of her kids. It was her last hope!

At Pizza Hut, everyone gathered around the computer screen that displayed the orders. They were all focusing on Treadway’s message, “Please help.” Manager Candy Hamilton hadn’t seen anything like it in her 28 years on the job. Honestly, most people probably haven’t!

The Waiting Game

looking out the window waiting for police
Light Yagami/Pinterest
Light Yagami/Pinterest

While the employees at Pizza Hut huddled over the message they found on the delivery, the real battle was still going on at home with Treadway. She was at home patiently staring out her window, waiting.

Concerned whether her message was received, anxiety struck like lightning in a thunderstorm. What if they thought it was a joke? Kids play pranks all the time so it could’ve gone over their heads. Hopefully, they didn’t think she was crying wolf…

Understanding A Threat

employee discusses pizza save
Light Yagami/Pinterest
Light Yagami/Pinterest

Treadway lived in that home for a while so she became a regular at Pizza Hut. That fact is what helped her out the most. The employees knew who she was and were well aware that she wasn’t playing any games.

“We didn’t even question it,” Candy said. “We immediately called 911.” Had Treadway not been someone who orders from that establishment often, things might have gone differently. Sometimes things fall into place without you even knowing…

On Their Way

the police are coming
MICHELE EVE SANDBERG/AFP/Getty Images
MICHELE EVE SANDBERG/AFP/Getty Images

At last, the police were finally notified about this horrific situation. The Highland County Sheriff’s Office received the call and they dispatched Lieutenant Curtis Ludden, along with his deputies, to help with the issue.

They made their way over to Treadway’s home and prepared for the moment. When they arrived, they parked outside. With Treadway frantically looking out the window, she probably was thrilled to see the cop cars pull up outside of her home…

Finally Feeling Safe

the pizza hut rescue crisis unfolds
Highlands County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook
Highlands County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook

Sure enough, when the cops pulled up, Treadway had a rush of euphoric feelings hit her. It was like she hit the lottery of safety! There was still one thing left to do, however, and that was lead the kids to safety before Nickerson noticed.

What would happen if he spotted the cops before the kids were safe? Would he pull the knife out and cut things short with his girlfriend? There was no telling…

Running Free

an officer discusses the case
Highlands County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook
Highlands County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook

The clock was ticking and Treadway needed to make a move. That’s when she decided to take matters into her own hands. She picked up her youngest child, grabbed him tight, and then made a run for it outside.

That’s when she told Lt. Ludden (pictured) that her other two kids were still inside with a knife-wielding maniac. At that point in time, there was really nothing else she could do. Electing to save her youngest first was smart enough, but…

Another Negotiation

the rescue team comes up with a plan
Light Yagami/Pinterest
Light Yagami/Pinterest

She wasn’t aware of it at the time, but Treadwater was really fortunate. She didn’t know she was talking to the lead negotiator in Lt. Ludden. With his stellar track record, talking to Nickerson would be a walk in the park.

Ludden talked down a number of people throughout his career and he enjoyed doing it. The man holding the knife with the kids around him was nothing more but a tally mark.

Talking The Talk

pizza hut rescue safe baby boy
Light Yagami/Pinterest
Light Yagami/Pinterest

Once the police had Treadway secured, it was time for the real task of handling the knife holder. They had to be sure to be careful not to make Nickerson do anything he would later regret.

Twenty minutes later and Lt. Ludden had figured the man out. Nickerson dropped the knife and decided to surrender. Finally, the other two children were able to go to safety and they reunited with their mother. Things were looking up.

The Smart Mom Pt. One

a squad car and the hostage taker
Light Yagami/Pinterest
Light Yagami/Pinterest

Things looked to be okay now that Nickerson surrendered and the kids were back with their mother. It was all thanks to Treadway and her ability to think quick on her feet. The police praised her smarts and she deserved it.

“I don’t know if I ever would have thought of it,” Ludden said. “I mean it’s just something that she did so naturally. The boyfriend never knew about it until he saw us coming around the corner.”

The Smart Mom Pt. Two

the hostage rescue was successful thanks to pizza hut's app
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

To be honest, not many would have been able to come up with an idea like that. Using the Pizza Hut app was a really clever move, and Treadway has herself to thank for saving her family. The manager of Pizza Hut chimed in with praise as well.

She was “the hero in this situation,” Candy said. “She just thought outside the box…I think that’s amazing.” Not only is it amazing, but it’s almost like something you see in a movie. This is a story you wouldn’t believe until you read it.