ATHENS, Tenn. – Two teenaged boys were just hanging around professing their love for their girlfriends — in graffiti.
Michael Clark and Matthew Musnicki, both 18, were dangling from a rope tied to an interstate bridge and trying to spray paint their mates' names on the concrete when they were stopped in the act.
Sheriff's Deputy Melissa Myers, who spied the odd scene from her patrol car, arrested the pair on the spot for the stunt.
"It was two guys spray painting names of girls they liked," Myers told FOX News on Thursday. "When [one] saw me, he had this look like, 'Oh my gosh, I’m busted.'"
The pair never got the chance to write their love for their chosen girls in graffiti. Myers immediately took one of the friends into custody, but the other tried to escape.
"I don't know what they were thinking," Myers, a deputy in McMinn County between Knoxville and Chattanooga, told The Associated Press.
The deputy said she drove up behind Clark and Musnicki after someone reported a suspicious person leaning on the rail of a bridge on Interstate 75.
"Matthew was going to write his name, 'loves' and then the girl's name" and Clark was going to do the same with a girl's name on the other side, Myers said.
The deputy arrested them both on Sunday. She said she took photos and a short video with her cell phone because the incident sounded too strange to be true.
Myers said when she arrived, Clark was standing at the railing holding the rope with his friend dangling below. She told Clark to put his hands up, but he said he couldn't let go of the rope.
She said Musnicki tossed the can of red spray paint and tried to escape, but got tangled in the rope. She put Clark in her car and drove around to the road below, arresting Musnicki after he was helped down by a passer-by with a ladder.
She said the interstate bridge is "covered with graffiti already."
Myers said the judge hopefully "is going to be fed up with all the vandalism. We have even had an Athens city patrol car spray painted. All the buildings in the city have been spray painted."
Both teens were charged with graffiti on government property and reckless endangerment. Both were released on $1,500 bonds Sunday pending April 18 court hearings. Phone numbers for the teens listed on the police report were disconnected.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.