A US Domino's pizza delivery driver helped save a woman from an ex-boyfriend who allegedly broke into her home.
Dean Hoffman, 55, was arrested by police in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, after allegedly entering the home of his former partner, an unidentified 57-year-old woman, without knocking and without her permission.
Hoffman and the woman dated for about two years between 2016 and August this year, when the woman moved out of the couple's property and into a new home.
According to police documents, the woman told Hoffmann to leave and grabbed her phone to call police, but Hoffman allegedly ripped the phone out of her hands, grabbed her by the waist and tried to drag her up a set of stairs.
Police allege Hoffman pulled the woman's hair, ripped her shirt and shoved her, causing her to fall on the stairs.
The woman told police she hit Hoffman in the groin. He then punched her in the face, giving her a black eye and a bloody nose.
Later the woman was allegedly forced into an upstairs bedroom, had her hands and feet tied together with a power cord from her vacuum and a towel put inside her mouth to prevent anyone from hearing her make noise.
Police were told the woman had trouble breathing due to the towel and thought she was going to die.
After half an hour, Hoffman allegedly untied the woman but would not let her leave the house for several hours.
Police allege Hoffman said he "should have brought his gun in from the car so that he could shoot both of them".
They also allege he texted the woman's children from her own phone, pretending to be sick and telling them not to visit her at home.
But then, Hoffman decided to order a pizza from Domino's.
Joey Grundl was delivering a pizza to the house when he noticed the woman mouthing the words, "Help me".
"It's kind of scary," driver Joey Grundl told local news station Q13 Fox.
"Gave him his pizza, and noticed behind him was his girlfriend. She pointed to a black eye that was quite visible. She mouthed the words, 'Call police'."
Grundl immediately called 911, telling the phone operator: "I had a delivery. It was a middle-aged couple. The woman clearly had a black eye. She pointed to it, and I swear she mouthed 'Help me'."
Police soon arrived and arrested Hoffman. He now faces charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, strangulation and suffocation, felony intimidation of a victim and burglary of a building.
If you're in danger NOW:
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault.
Where to go for help or more information:
• NZ Police
• Help Auckland 24/7 helpline 09 623 1700
• Rape Prevention Education
• Wellington Help 24/7 crisisline 04 801 6655, push 0
• Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz