Man arranges fake arrest for surprise marriage proposal
By Julia Talanova CNN
10:21 PM, Jan 24, 2014
10:21 PM, Jan 24, 2014
(CNN) -- A New Hampshire man proposed to his girlfriend, but not before involving the town's police chief and giving the bride-to-be one unforgettable run-in with the law.
In September, Matt Van Vliet and his now-fiancée, Samantha Labo, were on their way to a farewell dinner with friends when police pulled them over. The bride-to-be will never forget what came next.
In a dash-cam police video that recorded the encounter and was posted by the couple on YouTube, New London, New Hampshire, Police Chief Edward G. Andersen and his partner approach the vehicle and ask Van Vliet for his license and registration.
Labo said her boyfriend didn't ask why they got pulled over when they were going the speed limit, so she was curious, because it was her car. In the background on the video, Labo can be heard asking the officer why they were being pulled over. The officer responded with a rude remark.
"He was just really rude to me the whole time, so I started, like, crying because I didn't understand why he was being so mean," Labo said.
When the officers returned from their car, they told Van Vliet there was a warrant for his arrest.
"I bawled," said Labo, who told CNN that the night before she went out for a girls' night out and her boyfriend had a night out with the guys.
"I had no idea why. They weren't answering my questions. They made me step out of the car, too. It was just crazy, the whole experience," she said.
"In my mind I was so scared I didn't know if this was a mistake," said Labo. "But then again, I was like, what did you do last night? What did you guys do? It was just like absolutely terrifying."
While the police officer was handcuffing Van Vliet, the officer did a quick pat down and found a ring box. The video shows him taking the box out of the Van Vliet's pocket and asking him what it is. Van Vliet then takes the ring from the officer and walks over to Labo, who is crying hysterically. Van Vliet gets down on one knee and asks her to marry him.
Van Vliet and Labo met when they were arrested at an underage drinking party in their freshman year at Colby-Sawyer College. After a Breathalyzer test showed no alcohol, they were let go, but they continued talking and began dating a month later. So, when he decided to propose to his girlfriend of four years, Van Vliet reached out to the officer who arrested them.
"At first I was going to say no, because it's not something you would typically do or get involved in, but because of the involvement of how they met I felt compelled," said Police Chief Andersen.
Anderson said when Van Vliet called with the request, he told Anderson that if the two hadn't been arrested, they wouldn't be together. When Anderson agreed to help, Van Vliet also asked the officer to get Labo wound up.
"I felt honored to do it for them; it's nice to do something fun," said Anderson, who made the "arrest" on his own time.
Anderson said he's never done anything like this in his 20 years on the force and it would take a unique situation to do anything similar.
"I was just in shock, I wasn't expecting it at all," said Labo. "He just put so much planning into it and the fact that he planned everything with the cop was just amazing, I was completely ecstatic."