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Pizza delivery man reportedly thwarts hostage plot as victim mouths ‘Help me’

A Domino's Pizza delivery driver became a hero when he accidentally walked in on a hostage situation. He called police after leaving the woman's home. Police arrived, made an arrest and save the woman. (Image source: WTKR-TV video screenshot)

A Domino's Pizza delivery driver got more than he bargained for when he delivered pizza to a Wisconsin home where a woman was reportedly being held hostage.

What are the details?

Pizza delivery man Joey Grundl happened to be in the right place at the right time on Sept. 27 when he delivered pizza to a home where a woman had reportedly been beaten and threatened.

According to WTKR-TV, Grundl visited the woman's home to deliver a pizza when her ex-boyfriend reportedly opened the door.

While Grundl was outside the home, he noticed a woman inside who had a visibly blackened eye and who reportedly mouthed the words "Help me" behind her ex-boyfriend's back.

The suspect, 55-year-old Dean Hoffmann of Grafton, Wisconsin, had reportedly showed up at the 57-year-old woman's home earlier that day without her permission. When she attempted to call police, Hoffmann allegedly grabbed the woman and dragged her toward the upstairs.

According to the station, Hoffmann did much more than just jostle his ex-girlfriend around.

He also reportedly shoved her to the ground, pulled her hair, and tore her clothing, all while attempting to drag her to an upstairs room. The unnamed woman said that she attempted to escape by hitting her ex-boyfriend in the groin, but he retaliated and punched her in the face, bloodying her nose and blackening her eye in the process.

When Hoffmann was finally able to get the woman upstairs, he bound her hands and feet, hogtied her, and gagged her with a towel.

The woman said she fully believed she would die that night.

Hoffmann reportedly untied her at one point, but refused to let her leave her own home.

"If you love me, you will let me go," she reportedly told the suspect.

Hoffmann allegedly issued an ominous answer: "You know I can't do that," and purportedly added that he should have brought his gun into the home to shoot them both.

Authorities said that Hoffmann also used the victim's phone to text her children — while pretending to be the woman — telling them that she was sick and to avoid coming by the house for the next several days.

What did the pizza delivery man do?

At one point, Grundl arrived and noticed the woman while he was completing his transaction with Hoffmann.

“It’s kind of scary,” Grundl told the station. “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 police upon leaving the woman's home.

Police arrived on the scene, and Hoffmann was arrested without incident.

Authorities charged Hoffmann with kidnapping, false imprisonment, suffocation and strangulation, intimidation of a victim, and burglary of a building.

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