Man who made marriage proposal on I-45 charged

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter, Syan Rhodes - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - The man who made a marriage proposal Monday on Interstate 45 is facing charges for the incident.

The Harris County District Attorney's office announced Tuesday that Vidal Valladares-Navas is charged with obstructing a highway. He posted a $500 bond.

Valladares-Navas proposed to his girlfriend, Michelle Wycoff, on Interstate 45 Monday.

Several people passed the proposal on the shoulder of Interstate 45. One driver was an off-duty officer, giving investigators the official eyewitness they needed to press charges.

The lawyer for Valladeres-Navas, Mark Thering, told KPRC 2 News his client's intentions were purely romantic.

"The spot where he proposed had a significant meaning to his fiancee. It was not done to grab any type of personal attention. It was merely done as a romantic gesture," Thering said.

Based on the video it appears the proposal took place Monday on I-45 south just before entering downtown. The joyful embrace of the couple and the word, 'Yes,' were drowned out by the sounds of car and truck horns.

"It's unfortunate criminal charges were filed. He voluntarily surrendered. When I met them in my office, they were a cute couple that want to get this behind them," Thering said. "They want to enjoy their engagement and not be prosecuted for how they got engaged."

Harris County records show that this will be Valladares-Navas' second marriage. He had a divorce finalized in September.

While some Houstonians found the proposal swoon-worthy, others thought it was a reckless act that deserved some sort of punishment.

"Not in the middle of the highway, anywhere but there," Desmond Banks said. "It's dangerous. Too many cars out on 45."

However, some found the overture bold.

"I think it's rare and romantic," one woman said. "I would want them to hurry it up, but I'd be happy for them."

Others were not so pleased with this gesture.

"I work 12 hours a day and being stuck in traffic is already one thing, but stopping the freeway to propose to your girlfriend, you should have thought of something a lot different then proposing in the middle of a freeway," Beth Lopez said.

Valladares-Navas is due in court on Dec. 23.

2015 Click2Houston/KPRC2