A trio of Queens police officers are reportedly facing scrutiny after they staged a fake traffic stop to help a man propose to his girlfriend in Far Rockaway this week. The officers pulled the young couple over on Wednesday and began to conduct a drug and weapon search, popping the trunk to reveal heart-shaped balloons and a massive bouquet.
Groom-to-be Yehuda Coriat, 22, told JP Updates that his fiancé, 20-year-old Sorah Oppen, challenged him to come up with an unusual marriage proposal.
"I brainstormed all day Tuesday to come up with an idea, until it occurred to me to use the NYPD to help me out," Coriat told the news outlet.
The stunt, which proved successful, was captured on video and uploaded to Youtube.
Coriat told reporters that he picked Oppen up on Wednesday morning for breakfast, in Cedarhurst on the South Shore of Long Island. He then apparently fibbed that he had to pick up his credit card in Far Rockaway, and drove to the intersection of Empire Avenue and Reads Lane where three NYPD officers from the 101st Precinct pulled up with lights and sirens.
The cops apparently managed to make Oppen plenty uncomfortable before the jig was up. From JP Updates:
...[the officers] asked Oppen politely to step out of the car.They took her to the back of the car and questioned her, asking if she knew the man in the car, and where they were going, which upset her, Coriat said.
They then told her that this car is wanted in connection with criminal activity, Coriat said, to which Oppen told the officers that they have the wrong man and that there was nothing to search in the car.
The police then told Coriat to step out of the car, and began searching the front seats and the back.
The Post reports that the officers were on duty during the proposal stunt, though the NYPD could not immediately confirm or deny this. According to the tabloid, Coriat's friend Yoel Tyrnauer set up the scheme, walking into the 101st Precinct and asking for the favor. Oppen told the Post that Tyrnauer is a volunteer with the Shomrim, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish volunteer neighborhood patrol group, but Tyrnauer denied any connection.
"I just went into the precinct and tried my luck,” he said. "I don't know the cops. This whole thing has nothing to do with Shomrim."
A department source told the Post that, "This incident is being reviewed by the NYPD and based on preliminary findings, will be referred to the proper unit for possible disciplinary action."