An 18-year-old woman sent 911 a series of texts, alleging that she was being held hostage by her boyfriend at a Pennsylvania residence for about a year.
The victim also alleged her captor sexually assaulted her and forced her to sleep with random people in her plea to 911 dispatch at around 9:45 p.m. Sunday.
The string of texts began with the woman saying she needed help “ASAP” because she was being held hostage by her “abusive boyfriend.”
“He is asleep at the moment” and “has knife,” she wrote in subsequent texts, according to CBS News.
When the 911 operator asked her for how long she was being held captive, “a year prostitution can’t text,” she replied.
Responding officers reached the scene early Monday morning to find a mattress on the floor of the residence with food bags and water bottles lying around. Next to the bed were handcuffs attached to a nearby wall, officials said.
Nikolaus Breland, 32, was arrested after the cops found the victim at his residence, the outlet added. He was charged with sexual assault, false imprisonment, terroristic threats, and promoting prostitution, and was taken to Washington County Jail.
The woman said she met Breland on a dating app in 2021 when she was living in New Jersey. She further told cops Breland kept her chained and handcuffed at the house against her will, sexually assaulted her, and forced her to sleep with other people for about a year, WPXI-TV Pittsburgh reported.
“It was horrific to hear and I was disheartened to hear it. Obviously, the situation is a terrible situation,” Washington County District Attorney Jason Walsh said, as per Pittsburgh’s Action News 4.
Walsh also praised law enforcement for their prompt action in finding the woman.
“911 did a fantastic job, as you mentioned, you don’t have to be able to physically speak into the phone so they can hear it,” the district attorney added. “You can text 911 to be able to contact emergency services that way. The Monongahela police did a fantastic job also getting to the area and obviously getting the victim out of the situation they were in.”
Neighbors were appalled to hear about the woman being held captive on their block.
“I’m shocked. Because we thought all these were abandoned, not abandoned but empty,” said Dave Savarino, a Monongahela resident, told the outlet. “I don’t know how long that guy was there.”
“It was surprising, didn’t expect anyone living next to me doing that type of activity,” another neighbor Juan Rodriguez said, as reported by CBS News.