An Ohio police officer told a teenager "you're welcome" in an open letter on Facebook Sunday after issuing the 18-year-old a speeding ticket on State Route 10. And the cop hopes other lead-footed drivers will take note.
When the officer — who was not identified in the post — with the North Ridgeville Police Department pulled the teenager over for speeding, the driver claimed to not realize how fast he or she was going. But the officer immediately knew that wasn't true. In fact, the official said it should be pretty obvious you're speeding when you hit 100 miles per hour in a 65 mile-per-hour zone.
"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 realize it as you pass cars so fast the wind moves your car. You realize it every time you drift over the line and when you move the wheel the car reacts a lot quicker than you’re used to. You absolutely realized it," the officer wrote.
The officer said the teen was just "minutes away" from causing a Christmas tragedy, potentially harming him or herself as well as others on the road. It was clear the teen was upset — "visibly shaking and breathing hard" — after being pulled over by the patrol car, but that wasn't the right reason to panic, the cop added.
"Sometimes you’re the innocent person hit by someone with no regard for anyone else and sometimes you’re the one with no regard for anyone else. Today you were the latter."
"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 continued. "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."
In the lengthy letter, the officer pleads with the teenager to think about his or her parents or guardians in the future, explaining how they would be devastated if anything happened to their child.
"Sometimes you’re the innocent person hit by someone with no regard for anyone else and sometimes you’re the one with no regard for anyone else. Today you were the latter," the official added.
At the end of the note, the officer admitted the 18-year-old appeared to be a "nice kid who made a bad decision," though the cop added the ticketed was warranted.
"I don’t feel bad about this ticket at all. In fact, I’m proud of it. I hope you’re paying it off for months and with every payment you think about how it wasn’t worth it. I hope you slow down," the note continues, adding once again a reminder that no one is invincible.
The Facebook post has been shared by more than 78,000 people and received 6,000 comments as of Monday afternoon. The majority of users thanked the police department for the emotional reminder.
"We have some outstanding cops," one Facebook user replied.
"Thank you mr. Officer you could not say it no better way only if the kids realize what damage they can do the other people God bless you and your family," another echoed.
"Thank you for stopping him. Job well done," a man responded.