Vita Alari, a server at a 24/7 restaurant in New York, is used to reading customers’ special requests submitted in food-delivery apps.
But the woman who placed the order was not craving an early meal. Her Grubhub submission was instead a cry for help, according to Alari and the restaurant.
“Please call the police his going to call me when u delivered come with the cones please don’t make it obvious,” read the message under Grubhub’s “additional instructions.”
It took Alari and her co-worker a couple of minutes to decipher the message, which seemed to be written in a rush, Alari told The Washington Post. But from what they could gather, the woman wanted them to call police and have officers sent to that address as soon as possible.
Alari and her colleague took action. They simultaneously called the police and their boss to report the incident.
“It was something like you only see on TV,” Alari, who has worked at the restaurant for six years, told The Post. “I don’t think anybody would joke about anything like that, so as soon as we saw it, we took it seriously.”
Police arrived at the address around 6:20 a.m. and arrested 32-year-old Kemoy Royal. He was charged with two counts of rape, two counts of strangulation and unlawful imprisonment, among other felonies, a New York Police Department spokesperson said via email.
An attorney representing Royal did not immediately respond to a message early Thursday.
Police said Royal had been charged in connection with the attempted rape of a different woman on June 15, four days before the other woman placed the Grubhub order. After Royal was arrested on Sunday, an officer called the Chipper Truck Cafe to thank the workers for alerting police, Alari said.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Alari said. “We are just so happy she is okay. I’m glad we’re 24 hours and that she had somewhere to grab help from. There’s not that many restaurants [open at that hour] anymore where she could have written that note to save her.”
Royal is due back in court Friday at 9 a.m., court records state. A judge set his bail at $25,000. He remains in custody, jail records show.