HOUSTON –– Love can make you do some pretty crazy things. Bringing a major interstate in downtown Houston to a standstill probably shouldn’t be one of them.
Vidal Valladares, 24, has been charged with obstruction of a highway, a misdemeanour, for shutting down I-45 on Sunday to propose to his girlfriend, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said. The misdemeanour is punishable by up to six months in jail.
“I’m feeling bad and, of course, I just wanted to apologize to everyone if I caused any problems,” Valladares told CNN affiliate KTRK. “That wasn’t my intention in the beginning. I just wanted to do something different.”
His 23-year-old girlfriend Michelle Wycoff said “yes”. The wedding is in March.
Valladares posted a picture of him popping the question on Instagram.
“When you shut down one of the biggest and busiest freeways in the entire country (I45) and you ask your girl if she wants to marry u, That moment is priceless love u #shesaidyes.”
The people of Houston weren’t quite as enamoured of the stunt, especially those stuck in traffic behind the prenuptial roadblock.
Horns can be heard blaring on the proposal video.
Social media took Valladares to task too, celebrating the charge filed against him.
“Good. I can think of at least 10 applicable laws broken,” Kaitlyn Kaufman said on Facebook.
“That was dumb and dangerous and there are far more creative ways to propose,” said Amanda Murff, “and attention seekers are annoying as hell.”
Tia Leigh Sembera was a bit more understanding, but only a bit.
“While it’s sweet, it’s selfish and rude. He completely disregarded other people’s lives,” she said. “What if there was a woman in labor, someone driving to the er, someone trying to get to a wedding of their own, an interview, anything . . .? You can’t just stop a busy highway to be romantic. That’s silly . . . .”
Valladares had a few accomplices in his endeavor. Friends and family in eight cars blocked traffic so he could pull it off, KTRK reported.Why I-45 in downtown Houston? That’s Wycoff’s favourite view of the city. Valladares wanted the setting to be perfect.
“Love makes you do stupid things and I wanted to do something big for my girl,” Valladares said. “Something that she will always remember.”