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Woman held hostage uses Grubhub to alert police

A woman added a note to her order on Grubhub, pleading for help and police in a hostage situation. (WABC)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 11:18 AM MDT
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NEW YORK (WABC) - A young woman, held hostage at a home in New York City, is now safe thanks to her smart thinking.

The Grubhub order for a breakfast sandwich and a burger at 5 a.m. Sunday was nothing unusual for the employees at the Chipper Truck Café.

What was strange was the note under the additional instructions section.

It was clearly hastily written, saying to call the cops, have them come with the food and not make it obvious.

“She was basically saying to bring the police with the delivery,” Alice Bermejo said.

Alice Bermejo, who owns the business with her husband, said he got a call from the worker who saw the order come up on the screen.

“They’d seen the note on the order, and they called my husband saying, ‘What should we do?’ And he was like, ‘Call the police,’” she said.

The order came from an address in the Bronx, where authorities say a 32-year-old man was holding a 24-year-old woman against her will and sexually assaulting her.

Authorities reported they had met in person, months after first meeting online, and it turned violent. He wouldn’t let her have her phone, except to order food.

At that hour, her best hope was to get a message to a restaurant three and a half miles away. And the Bermejo family is grateful to the employee who did call the police and explained the situation.

“Just knowing that like, we were there and that being open 24 hours allowed her to have a way to get help,” Bermejo’s daughter, Alicia Bermejo, said.

The suspect opened the door, according to court documents, later admitting he thought the young woman’s food had arrived, but instead, it was the police.

That man, identified as 32-year-old Kemoy Royal, is charged with rape and unlawful imprisonment, among other counts.

He’s also charged in the attempted sexual assault of another young woman days earlier, which allegedly took place at Royal’s home on June 14.

Somehow, that 26-year-old victim was able to get away, and she reported it the next day.

It’s unclear why police hadn’t arrested Royal for that first incident.

He is now behind bars, all thanks to that Grubhub order.

After the ordeal, the Bermejo family got a call from the victim’s friend.

“They called to thank us and just to be like, ‘Thank you so much for helping my friend and just, you know making sure that she was fine,’” Alicia Bermejo said.

The family said they give the victim credit for her quick thinking in a frightening situation.

“I can’t even imagine,” Alice Bermejo said. “I hope someday we get to meet her.”

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