AVON PARK, Fla. — A central Florida woman helped save herself and her children by sending a message in an online pizza order that asked employees to call 911 because she was being held hostage.

The Avon Park Pizza Hut employees spotted what Cheryl Treadway wrote in the comment section of her online order and called the sheriff’s office.

According to an arrest report, Treadway and her boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson, 26, had been arguing throughout the day. Nickerson carried a knife, and took Treadway’s phone away.

She eventually talked Nickerson into letting her use her phone to get pizza, and that’s when she added her call for help to the order.

Highlands County sheriff’s deputies went to the home, where they were greeted by Treadway, who was escorted to safety. Nickerson was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, battery and false imprisonment.

Authorities credited Treadway’s quick thinking and the fast response by deputies for a peaceful conclusion.

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

The cry for help also was a first for Pizza Hut manager Candy Hamilton.

“We’ve never seen that before,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been here 28 years and never, never seen nothing like that come through.”