New York City is such a scenic winter wonderland during the holiday season. Filled with lights, people, cheer, and the unmistakable blare of impatient car horns, it’s a magical place. It’s especially popular for tourists to visit New York City during the holidays to soak in the sights and sounds with loved ones. Among these scenes, countless couples begin their futures together as one nervously drops to a knee to ask one of the more nerve-wracking questions of their lives: will you marry me?
Most times we don’t hear much beyond knowing that proposals are happening every few minutes in the hustle and bustle of Midtown Manhattan, but one couple recently had themselves a bit of a scare. Active human error is generally categorized into three types: slips/lapses, mistakes, and violations. We’ll let you be the judge of which this falls under.
Around midnight last week, one couple was wandering Times Square when the gentleman steeled himself to pop the question. Finally gathering his courage, he dropped to one knee, asked, then promptly dropped the engagement ring down a New York City sidewalk grate. If you thought that only happens in movies, you’re probably not alone. The whole event was caught on CCTV, which starts to show what looks like a woman astonished by the question. Then it shows the man putting his face up to the grate, checking to see how far it went while she looks on in horror.
Not really knowing where to turn, the desperate proposer turns to the NYPD to see in they can get the grate open, which they could not. Resigned to his unfortunate fate, the couple — who weren’t from the United States — went home. Modern companies are under increasing pressure to provide quick, effective customer engagement with focused support, but the NYPD doesn’t typically get calls to fish engagement rings out of sewer grates. However, rallying on their motto Fidelis ad Mortem — Faithful Unto Death — they got to work.
One day later, the NYPD successfully retrieved the ring. If you think finding a ring in a sewer grate is difficult, try locating two people in New York City who aren’t even from the United States. The NYPD issued a “wanted” tweet for a man who was so excited to propose that he lost the engagement ring.
“WANTED for dropping his fiancée’s ring in @TimesSquareNYC! She said Yes – but he was so excited that he dropped the ring in a grate. Our @NYPDSpecialops officers rescued it and would like to return it to the happy couple. Help us find them?” the tweet read, then added the tip hotline phone number and Twitter handle in case anyone had information regarding the whereabouts of the couple.
Naturally, the story gained some traction. With 80% of internet users being smartphone owners, the tweet quickly received nearly 20,000 retweets. The NYPD posted another picture of the ring, which they also had cleaned, and eventually got ahold of the couple.
“Fortunately, it was actually kind of sitting on top of all of that stuff, so it really wasn’t hard to find. It was just a small object like that in the midst of all the garbage,” said Detective Joseph Bucchignano, the officer who found the diamond in the rough.
The couple, now identified as John Drennan and Daniella Anthony, were both thoroughly convinced the ring was gone forever and Drennan had bought another ring upon their return home to the United Kingdom. When it was returned, they were obviously thrilled, never expecting such a miraculous outcome.
Drennan planned on keeping his ring-down-the-grate gaff a secret, but since it went viral, one of his friends forwarded it to him and proceeded to give him a sufficiently hard time about it. He said he welcomes all the jests, banter, and comments, he’s just glad that it was found. Ring notwithstanding, Anthony said yes before it was found. If that’s not wedding speech material, we’re not sure what is.