A woman in the Bronx was held hostage after a date with a man she met online, authorities and court documents say — and when she couldn't turn to 911, she used a food delivery app to send a desperate plea for help.
The call for help came in the form of an online Grubhub food order to the Chipper Truck Café in Yonkers Sunday morning. Surveillance video from inside the restaurant shows the employees receive the order for a Irish breakfast sandwich, a hamburger and something else: a plea for help.
"When I see the message on the paper, I said just call police and don’t send the food because this is something else. It’s an emergency," said owner Valentine Bernejo.
Alice Bernejo says she always reminds her employees to read the entire order.
"I drove them crazy saying read the fine note, the fine print, you have to read it. So they know to check and read it before anything goes into the bag and thankfully that’s what saved the girl was them doing that," she said.
The message came from a woman being held against her will by a man she barely knew, identified by police as Kemoy Royal.
Under the additional instructions section on the Grubhub order, the woman wrote in part "please call the police" and "please don't make it obvious."
The workers called police, and officers responded to a home on Pratt Avenue just after 6 a.m. Royal answered the door thinking the food was arriving, but instead it was police, who arrested him.
"You never think that these things happen, but it obviously happens and just glad that we can help and we did the right thing," Alice Bernejo said.
The 24-year-old victim was rescued from the home and is now safe. Meanwhile, Royal faces a laundry list of charges.
After everything went down, the owners of the Chipper Truck Café received an unexpected call from Grubhub.
"He was so happy about what we did and he offered us $5,000 for just doing what we did and just paying attention to the notes," said Alice Bernejo.
Royal is also facing charges for attacking another woman just days before the assault over the weekend.