Governments' Lighter Side

Houston man shuts down highway for proposal

Interstate 45 in Houston became gridlocked recently when a man decided to obstruct the highway for what he thought would be an epic marriage proposal.

Vidal Valladares earlier this month instructed a group of friends to stand in front of several lanes of traffic while he Instagrammed his proposal to his girlfriend, Michelle Wycoff, on the busy highway near downtown Houston, according to the Houston Chronicle. 

In the midst of Valladares' romantic gesture, the video of his proposal reveals a symphony of blaring horns and dozens of headlights awaiting an open freeway. According to Houston police, the modern-day Romeo pauses to give an off-duty police officer the middle finger for honking while driving past the couple.

"I just wanted to do something different," Valladares told the Chronicle after the incident. "I never really thought about causing an accident. I thought about my girlfriend."

Local authorities did not find the proposal so chivalrous, and Harris County District Attorney's Office charged Valladares with obstruction of a roadway, a Class B misdemeanor. He turned himself into authorities and later posted a $500 bond. If convicted, Valladares could face up to six months in jail or a $2,000 fine, according to the newspaper.

His attorney, Mark Thering, told the Chronicle his client's romantic gesture is not worthy of criminal charges.

"Mr. Valladares' intentions were purely romantic. The spot where he proposed had significant meaning to his fiancee," Thering said. "This was not done to grab personal attention, but done merely as a romantic gesture. It is unfortunate that criminal charges were filed."

The good news for Valladares as he awaits his legal fate - she said yes.


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What's Governments' Lighter Side?

It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.


Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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