College Student's 'Unusual Tactic' Nabs Him a Fiancee

Craig Vandenberg recruits cop to lure girlfriend to marriage proposal with a 'lost' wallet
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2024 10:00 AM CST
College Student Taps Into Cops, 'Lost' Wallet for Proposal
A screenshot from video of the proposal.   (Facebook/Lakeland PD)

A college student used what the Messenger calls "an unusual tactic" to propose to his girlfriend, and its novelty paid off with an accepted proposal. Florida Southern College attendee Craig Vandenberg recruited the resource officer at his school, Dagon Leach of the Lakeland Police Department, to help him with his big ask, which involved Vandenberg handing over his wallet to the officer and having him place a call to Vandenberg's girlfriend, Emery, reports the Miami Herald, via Yahoo. In bodycam footage, Leach can be heard in that call telling Emery that someone found her boyfriend's wallet, and that she was listed as an emergency contact.

Leach informs Emery that he couldn't track down Vandenberg, and so would she mind meeting him so that he could hand off Vandenberg's wallet. "This dude's got me staying late, I'm ready to go home, it's been a long day," Leach says in the call, laying it on thick as Vandenberg listens to the whole call by his side. Emery agrees to meet the officer at a lakeside pavilion on campus, and she thanks him profusely as he hands over Vandenberg's wallet—with Vandenberg waiting quietly in the squad car, sporting a suit jacket and clutching a bouquet of flowers.

As Emery starts to walk away, Leach then says, "One more thing, though," and Vandenberg emerges from the car, much to Emery's surprise. The couple step a bit away from Leach so Vandenberg can make his proposal in private, though a beaming Emery can clearly be heard saying, "Oh my God, yes!" to his life-changing question. "Congratulations to you both!" the Lakeland PD writes in a Facebook post showing the video of the happy couple. "Thank you for allowing us to help make this a true surprise." (More uplifting news stories.)

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