Pizza Delivery Man Saves Woman Being Held Hostage By Ex, Hailed a Hero

Dean Hoffmann
Dean Hoffman, 55, is accused of kidnapping his girlfriend and beating her on September 27. A pizza delivery driver is credited with helping rescue the woman. Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office

A pizza delivery driver in Wisconsin helped rescue a woman who was being held hostage by an abusive ex-boyfriend. The brave actions by Joey Grundl led to the arrest of a 55-year-old Grafton man who allegedly kidnapped and beat up his ex-girlfriend.

Police said Grundl noticed a woman inside the home who mouthed the words "help me" when he made a Domino's Pizza delivery.

"It's kind of scary," Grundl told WTKR. "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.'"

The victim, 57, reportedly began dating 55-year-old Dean Hoffmann in 2016 and lived with him until August 2018, a criminal complaint said. When the couple broke up, the woman moved to a new home.

On September 27, Hoffmann allegedly entered the victim's home without knocking or her permission. When the victim told him to leave and grabbed her phone to call police, Hoffmann allegedly snatched the phone from her, grabbed her and dragged her towards the staircase.

Hoffmann allegedly shoved the victim, who fell on her back on the stairs. He then pulled her hair and ripped her shirt while attempting to drag her up the stairs. The woman told detectives that she attempted to escape by hitting Hoffmann in the groin. However, he punched her in the face, giving her a bloody nose and black eye.

The complaint revealed Hoffmann proceeded to lock both of them in the bathroom while the victim took care of her bloody nose. Hoffmann then forced the woman up the stairs and onto her bed, where he bound her hands and feet and shoved a towel in her mouth.

Investigators said the woman said she had trouble breathing and was afraid she would die while Hoffmann had her tied up. He eventually untied her but would not allow the woman to leave her own home for several hours.

The woman said she told Hoffmann, "If you love me, you will let me go." He reportedly replied, "You know I can't do that." Hoffmann also commented that he should have brought his gun from his car to shoot them both.

Hoffmann ordered pizza, which is when Grundl spotted her and knew to call 911. When officers arrived, Hoffmann initially blocked the victim from opening the door. He then relented and was arrested without incident.

Sheboygan County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

Hoffmann was charged with kidnapping, suffocation, strangulation, false imprisonment and intimidation of a victim. He is not listed as an inmate at Sheboygan County Adult Detention Center.