Judge orders man who proposed on I-45 to apologize to public
HOUSTON – It was the video that went viral almost immediately -- a man literally stopping traffic on a busy Houston freeway to propose to his girlfriend.
She said, "Yes," but months later there still is a "road block" in those wedding plans when Vidal Valladares-Navas, 25, was charged for the romantic gesture.
He faced a judge again in court Thursday, who made a ruling on those charges. The judge charged Valladares-Navas with obstruction of a highway, and also made him make a public apology to the cameras at the courthouse.
Valladares-Navas expressed his apology by saying he wishes he would have thought twice about the stunt.
He also insisted that no one else should attempt what he did.
He expressed regret for his act and apologized for putting so many people in danger.
His attorney said Valladares-Navas wasn't trying to shut down the freeway or cause a major traffic nightmare. He just wanted to impress his fiancée with a high-powered romantic gesture.
Valladares-Navas was offered a pre-trial diversion, which will last one year. The terms of the agreement include staying out of trouble, community service, a class for thinking before acting, as well as letters of apology to the public and the officers involved in the situation.
If he fails to comply with the terms of the pre-trial diversion, Valladares-Navas could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor and face up to 6 months in jail.
"This is the last thing they wanted to have happen, and his intentions were romantic and nothing more than that." attorney Mark Thering said.
On Thursday, Thering explained Vidal never intended to snarl traffic and that he just wanted his proposal to Michelle to be something very, very special.
"The things you do for love, or to impress a woman, sometimes can backfire. Obviously, in this case, we believe that's what happened," Therning said.