DELAND, Fla. (CNN) – A Florida man is accused of holding his girlfriend captive after she slipped a note to a veterinarian saying he had a gun.
The woman says the man repeatedly beat and threatened her. But she was able to convince him they needed to take their dog to the vet, where staff called the police when they got her note.
When a couple and their dog walked into the Deland Animal Hospital Friday night, the woman appearing shaken, handed a clinic worker a note that read: “Call the cops. My boyfriend is threatening me. He has a gun. Please don’t let him know.”
The victim, Caroline Reichle, later told investigators she persuaded her boyfriend, Jeremy Floyd, to bring their dog to the clinic as a way to escape his physical abuse.
According to the arrest affidavit, the worker inside the animal hospital quickly got the message and called DeLand Police They came in, arrested the suspect and held him for deputies.
Reichle says this all started Wednesday at the home the couple share. She says Floyd would not let her leave, and when the two wrestled over a gun, two shots were fired.
Reichle says she was also beaten that night and Thursday, prompting her to come up with the plan to lead Floyd to the veterinary clinic and signal staff for help.
“Pretty smart people, or the person that did that,” said Don Pummer, clinic customer.
Don Pummer is a customer of the animal hospital and never thought the people who take care of his pet would play such a key role in the arrest of a man suspected of being armed and violent.
They might have saved that woman’s life.
“I would imagine so. You never know what someone who does something like that would be capable of,” added Pummer.
Floyd has a criminal history that includes burglary, possession and sale of drugs and grand theft motor vehicle, for which he was convicted in 2016, and sent to state prison for more than a year.
Reichle was treated for a head injury, black eye and arm bruises at a nearby hospital. Police went to the home and say they found bullet holes in the walls. Floyd is now being held with no bail.