GRAPEVINE - Grapevine police happily released a traffic stop bodycam video Tuesday to show that although the motorist was temporarily frightened, she gladly accepted a marriage proposal she always hoped would be memorable.
"She always said she wanted it memorable," said Stephen Smith, a Grapevine police dispatcher, who enlisted the help of co-worker Chad Hale to pull off the surprise.
On July 7, his two-year dating anniversary with Amanda Radican, he purposely left his cellphone at home and asked Amanda to bring it to him at work. He lied that he'd been called in on his day off to work overtime. Instead, tracking Amanda with an app on his mom's iPhone, he and Officer Hale followed Amanda and pulled her over.
With Stephen hiding in the police SUV, the officer turned on his bodycam and told Amanda that there were "warrants" on the car she was driving.
"There's a what?" she said. "There should not be any warrants on the vehicle."
"Do you mind stepping out and talking to me real quick?" the officer said. "I just want to get things cleared up real quick."
That's when the pending proposal got a bit too memorable for Amanda. She started to cry.
"Why is it like that?" she said. "Why does it show there's warrants?"
"That's what we're trying to figure out," Officer Hale answered. "We're trying to get everything taken care of. No worries. Don't worry at all."
That's when Stephen Smith, sensing the moment was getting too memorable in the wrong direction, stepped out of the police SUV and dropped to one knee.
"Oh my God!" Amanda said to Stephen as he waited for an answer. "You scared the [expletive] out of me."
"I was terrified. I was freaking out," she told WFAA when we set the couple down for an interview on Tuesday several days after the proposal.
"Whenever she got out of the car I could hear her start crying," Smith said. "And I was like I feel so bad for making you cry but hopefully this will make it all better. And I think it did."
"Oh, so he got me good," she said. "He got me really good. Totally never saw that coming at all."
"Caught her off guard, I hope," Smith said.
"Very," she replied.
By the way, Amanda did say yes. The marriage is planned for July 7 next year. Smith joked he kept their first date, their proposal and their eventual wedding all on the same day of the year so that he'll never mess up the anniversary. But as for the threat of being arrested, Amanda says she's already forgiven her future husband.
"So even though he scared the [expletive]out of you you're OK?" I asked her.
"I'm perfectly fine," she answered. "Very happy."
Happy for the traffic stop, and the life sentence they gladly plan to share.
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