Ozell Cooper isn’t the most romantic guy, so he decided to pull off an unforgettable prank for his marriage proposal instead.
His plan was to arrange so that an officer would frisk him outside of his home in front of his wife on Valentine’s day as if he was a thief. The officer would then pull a ring out from Cooper’s back pocket, and he would then take the opportunity to propose on one knee.
On the day, the prank/proposal went off perfectly. Girlfriend and soon-to-be-wife Tersia Vries said yes after wiping away tears of joy and giggling uncontrollably.
Cooper thanked the police and expressed his happiness, telling Syracuse local news, “It made me the happiest man in the world. We laughed the whole night. It was just a beautiful thing. Just beautiful. To the officer, I thank him so much. To the Syracuse Police Department, thank you so much. We need more interactions like this. It was a beautiful thing to see it come together just the way I thought it would.”
Vries, meanwhile, was relieved. She told local news that she appreciated what the officer did, especially with all of the tension between the police and Black men in the national spotlight. She said, “The police officer played it so well, so I want to thank him for being a part of that. I’m thankful for the positivity of a police officer being involved… there is a lot of good in the police department, a lot of good hearts.”
The officer, Joseph Senf, said of the proposal, “It was beautiful. It was a good thing for the city and the community.” He played the role like a trained actor and true to his profession, telling Vries to stand back as she looked on, and frisking Cooper along the squad car while asking him if he stole the ring.
Vries suspected that something was fishy. She knew her husband couldn’t possibly be a thief. Nevertheless, she was still apprehensive, and relieved when she discovered it was a prank. She said, “I should have known he would have done something crazy like that.”
The police posted the video on Facebook where it received hundreds of shares and likes within hours.
Cooper said that he told everyone about the prank beforehand so they wouldn’t be worried. Only his girlfriend didn’t know. The hardest part of the scheme was finding an officer. He recalled that when he asked four officers making an arrest about his plan, they said “Are you serious?”
Eventually, his cousin found Officer Senf writing up a report in a parking lot and he agreed, saying it was something he couldn’t pass up.
On his way to the house, Senf radioed a dispatch to “assist a citizen,” so funnily enough, there will be an official record of the proposal on the books at the station.