A police officer penned an open letter on Facebook, which has since gone viral, to a teenager he pulled over for driving 100 miles per hour in hopes of deterring others from speeding.
The officer, who works with the North Ridgeville Police Department in Ohio, made the post on Sunday after writing up the ticket to an 18-year-old.
“To the 18 year old kid I stopped on SR 10,” the letter begins. “You’re welcome. I’d like to believe that you were minutes away from creating an unspeakable Christmas tragedy when I stopped you. If not only killing yourself, you were well on your way to killing some innocent person who was minding their own business doing nothing else wrong but being in front of you.”
The letter went on to scold the teen for speeding and for not thinking about the consequences of his actions.
“You said you didn’t realize how fast you were going,” the officer wrote. “That’s a lie. You may not realize when you’re doing 45 in a 35 but you are fully aware of every mile per hour at 100. You realize it with every bump you hit. [...] You absolutely realized it.”
He noted that the teen was scared.
“You were scared when I stopped you,” the letter stated. “You were visibly shaking and breathing hard. Unfortunately, you were scared one minute too late and for the wrong reason. You should have been scared that you were trying to kill yourself. I know you’re invincible. I know that you can’t even fathom your own death.”
The officer went on to tell the kid that they believe the speeder is “a really nice kid who made a bad decision.”
A decision that could be deadly.
“I can tell you dozens of stories of dead and broken 18 year old bodies that I’ve pulled from cars. Broken bodies that I’ve found in front yards after crashes. Unrecognizable bodies. They thought they were invincible too. They weren’t. They were gone so they missed the part where I had to tell their parents that they were dead. Part of your soul disappears every time you have to tell parents that their kid is dead.”
The officer said they are proud to have written the teen a ticket and hope the teen must pay it off for months, and that during each payment they think about what they did.
At the end of the letter, the officer pleaded with the teen to “Slow down. Please. You are not invincible. I promise.”
Both the young driver and the officer have remained unidentified. Since its posting on Sunday, the letter has been shared over 117,000 times.
[Photo: North Ridgeville Police Department]
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