An alert and attentive pizza delivery guy is being credited with possibly saving a kidnapping victim’s life, after the victim mouthed “help me” while the driver was making the transaction.
As KCPQ-TV (Seattle) reports, Joey Grundl, whose age has not been revealed, was working his shift at a Wisconsin Domino’s last Thursday when he was dispatched to an address in Waldo, which is just down the road from Sheboygan. At first, it was just a routine delivery, Grundl and a 55-year-old man exchanging money for pizza. That is until Grundl noticed that a woman in the house had a black eye.
“It’s kind of scary. Gave him his pizza, and noticed behind him was his girlfriend. She pointed to a black eye that was quite visible.”
However, things got even more dire when the 57-year-old woman began surreptitiously begging the driver for help.
“She mouthed the words ‘call police.'”
Once he had the money and the transaction was over, according to People, Grundl went back to his car and used his cell phone to call the cops.
Police reports paint a detailed picture of what happened leading up to last Thursday’s events. The victim, identified only as a 57-year-old woman, had been dating the alleged assailant, 55-year-old Dean Hoffmann, since 2016, but they had recently broken up.
Pizza Delivery Man Credited With Stopping Kidnapping After He Notices Woman Mouth 'Help Me’: Cops https://t.co/dRsMcaKC4P Great job young man. Joey Grundl is now this ladies Hero. According to Police he aided in stopping the kidnapping of a lady. #blesstheblue #irishangel
— Blue Irish Angel (@BlueIrishAngel) October 2, 2018
However, on Thursday, September 27, Hoffmann allegedly barged into the woman’s home uninvited and refused to leave. He then allegedly tore her cell phone out of her hands as she attempted to call the police.
Over the next several hours, Hoffmann allegedly repeatedly abused and tormented the victim. He allegedly locked both of them up in the bathroom for half an hour; allegedly tied her to a bed and stuffed a towel in her mouth to the point that had difficulty breathing and feared she was going to die, and allegedly repeatedly battered her.
The woman told Hoffmann that if he loved her, he would let her go, to which Hoffmann allegedly replied, “You know I can’t do that.” Further, Hoffmann allegedly used the victim’s phone, pretending to be her to text the woman’s workplace and children to say that she would be away for a few days.
However, at some point the couple decided to order a pizza, a decision that ultimately may have saved the woman’s life, says neighbor Amy Hammarlund.
“I’m grateful (the delivery driver) was paying attention, because it could have been a lot worse.”
Hoffman faces charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, strangulation and suffocation, felony intimidation of a victim, and burglary of a building.