A pizza delivery driver in Wisconsin helped rescue a woman after her ex-boyfriend allegedly barged into her home and took her captive in a brutal assault, according to NBC News.
Joseph Grundl, a deliveryman for Dominos, was bringing a pie to a home in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, on Sept. 26 when he noticed that a woman standing behind the man paying for the pizza appeared to have be in trouble, NBC reports.
"I showed up, it was a normal delivery, and saw this middle-aged couple," Grundl, 24, told NBC News in phone interview,. "The guy answers the door and I hand over the pizza, when I noticed that the woman behind him, who turned out to be his ex, had a black eye.”
Then, she made a desperate plea, mouthing “help me” and “call the police” as Grundl finished the transaction with her alleged kidnapper, the Sheboygan Press reports.
After finishing up, Grundl raced back to the restaurant to call 911, according to NBC, which reported that Grundl’s account matched that in a police report.
When deputies with the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department arrived on the scene, they could hear the woman calling out to them for help, yelling “help me,” and “please come in,” according to the Sheboygan Press.
For a time however, the woman’s alleged tormentor, 55-year-old Dean Hoffman, refused to let them in, the Press reports. Eventually, Hoffman relented, surrendering to police after they told him they were going to have to force their way in regardless, according to NBC News.
Hoffman was arrested on charges of strangulation, battery, intimidation of a victim, false imprisonment and burglary, and was placed on suicide watch after making comments to police threatening to kill himself, NBC News reports.
Police told the Sheboygan Press that Hoffman and the victim had previously dated, but that they had broken up in August. But on the afternoon of Sept. 26, Hoffman arrived at the woman’s home uninvited, and when she threatened to call police, he became irate and physically attacked her, giving the woman a bloody nose and a black eye before dragging her to the second floor, tying her feet with an electric cord, and stuffing a towel into her mouth, NBC reports, citing a police report.
During the assault, the woman was "sure she was going to die,” she told police, according to NBC.
When police arrested Grundl, they found a .22-caliber firearm in his truck, along with a suicide note that he had written while the woman was his captive, police told NBC News.
Grundl told NBC News that he has not spoken with the victim since he delivered the pizza to her home, but said that her son has come in to thank him for his part in rescuing her, NBC reports.
Hoffman was still in custody at the Sheboygan County Detention Center as of Tuesday morning, according to online jail records. It was not immediately clear if he had been formally charged with the alleged assault and imprisonment of the woman. If convicted, Hoffman faces up to 50 years in prison, according to WHBL Sheboygan, a local radio station.
[Photo: Sheboygan County Sheriff's Office]