Thanks to Pizza Hut's smart phone ordering application, a Florida mother and her children were rescued after being held hostage. According to a local ABC news station, Cheryl Treadway and her three children were held hostage by Treadway's boyfriend late yesterday in Avon Park, a town in central Florida.
When Treadway and her children got hungry, she was able to convince her boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson, to let her use her cell phone to order a pizza from Pizza Hut using an app. In an ingenius and possibly life-saving move, Treadway used the comments section in the app's order module to call for help.
Technology saves lives.
The app already had her phone number, name, and address on file, so she typed, "Please help. Get 911 to me," and the message appeared at the top of the order ticket when it printed out on the restaurant's POS system. A Highlands County Sheriff's Office report confirmed that "[u]nder the comments section, there was a message asking them to send help and call 911 as they were being held hostage." The report also confirms that Nickerson was using a knife as a weapon.
Immediately after she placed the order, Nickerson took the cell phone away from Treadway, but the call for help had already been placed. Fortunately, Treadway's name and usual order was known to the Pizza Hut as she was a regular customer. The manager at the nearby Pizza Hut was stunned when she saw the note.
"I've been here 28 years and never, never seen nothing like that come through," restaurant manager Candy Hamilton told a CNN affiliate station WFLA. Hamilton alerted authorities immediately, and shortly thereafter the family was released and Nickerson was placed under arrest, where he remains.
This sad story with a happy ending comes just as Pizza Hut announced a new improvement to its phone application: delivery tracking. According to CNN Money, the Hut's new "Pizza Navigation System" is "an Uber-style" map and tracking mode. Customers will now be able to see the location of their pizza in relation to their location. Could this new improvement also help solve crimes? Anything's possible.