Motorcyclists Shut Down Freeway for Marriage Proposal
The CHP is investigating a group of about 300 motorcyclists who shut down the 10 freeway in West Covina, Calif., for a marriage proposal Sunday afternoon. Charges could range from misdemeanors to felonies for impeding traffic. Angie Crouch reports from West Covina for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2013.
It was an engagement stunt that brought the 10 Freeway to a standstill, went viral on YouTube and could have sent a newly engaged couple to jail -- but so far, they are free and looking forward to their wedding.
"(Police) haven't called me. They haven't showed up to my house. As far as him, I mean it's just been rumors, but no one's contacted us," said Paige Hernandez, the bride-to-be who was proposed to by longtime boyfriend, Hector "Tank" Martinez on Jan. 27.
"I'm not nervous. I have nothing to hide. We have nothing to hide," she said.
"When he got off (the bike), I was like, 'We're on the 10 freeway. What are you doing? What's going on? And then as soon as he reached for his pocket, I was like, 'no way.' I was like, 'what's going on?' I knew right away," Hernandez said.
The California Highway Patrol announced it was investigating the incident after a YouTube video documenting the proposal started racking up views and drawing the attention of media outlets.
"It's a public safety issue as well," CHP Officer Jose Barrios said at the time. "Reckless driving, stopping when it's not an emergency stop -- just a few of the violations they were committing at the time."
In another high-profile freeway-halting incident, a band from Orange County shut down the 101 Freeway in Hollywood on Oct. 12 and played atop a tour bus. The three band members ended up facing criminal charges.
Hernandez said the proposal was spontaneous, because Martinez told her that he was planning to propose at a Hooters restaurant with her family later that day.
The couple is getting a backlash from some, who say the stunt is a perfect example of why biking has a bad name.
"This kind of action reinforces the negative stereotype people have about bikers as trouble makers," said one comment on the video's YouTube account.
"It was just unfortunate to hear that there was such a negative perspective on the video. I mean, coming from the bike scene, not all bikers are bad," said Hernandez.
When asked about the wedding, she said: "We're thinking anywhere from a year and a half to two years."