'Call the cops.'
If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 800-799-7233.
A disturbing story that happened four years ago in DeLand, Florida, shows how brave workers at an animal hospital were able to free an abused woman from her deranged and violent abuser.
According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department, on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, Carolyn Reichle was beaten, held hostage and threatened at gunpoint by her boyfriend, Jeremy Floyd. During the incident, two rounds were fired, which passed through drywall and were later found in another room.
The next day, Thursday, May 24, Reichle spent in bed with a head injury.
That Friday, Reichle felt well enough to get out of bed and concocted a plan to get away from her abusive boyfriend. She convinced him that they should take their dog to the veterinarian’s office. She was worried that the dog’s ear had been grazed by a stray bullet but told the animal hospital that she thought it had an ear infection.
Floyd agreed to go to the veterinarian's office as long as he accompanied her.
“On the drive to the vet, Floyd reportedly again pointed the gun at Reichle, threatening to kill her and her family,” the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department wrote on Facebook.
At the hospital, Reichle was able to slip a handwritten note to Darla Fadden, who worked the front desk at the hospital. "Call the cops. My boyfriend is threatening me. He has a gun. Please don't let him know,” the note read.
"I wrote it on my hand. Just took off my bank note and wrote it and then, my handwriting isn't usually that sloppy," Reichle told Click Orlando. Fadden took the note seriously and sprung into action. "I read it and just went into the back and called 911," Fadden said.
After the deputies arrived at the animal hospital they quickly disarmed Floyd and he was arrested and taken to Volusia County Branch Jail. Floyd was charged with domestic violence, aggravated assault with a firearm, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and simple battery.
While in jail, Floyd called Reichle “dozens and dozens” of times, and a stalking charge was later added. "I understand you're upset with me. I'm sorry. I know you're upset with me and I apologize about what I did to you. I'll make it up to you. I apologize and I love you,” one of the voicemails said.
Reichle was taken to Florida Hospital DeLand where she was treated for her injuries, which included a head wound, a black eye and bruised arms.
This is a terrible story of abuse, but it could have been much worse. Reichle was incredibly brave to be able to write a note and get it to the animal hospital staff, especially being that Floyd was armed and in the other room. If he saw what she was doing, the situation could have quickly become very dangerous. The staff was also incredibly courageous because they put themselves in harm’s way by calling the police while in the presence of an armed man.
Luckily, no one was hurt and the arrest went peacefully.