A traffic stop in New Jersey this week ended with a state trooper offering a handshake, not a ticket. It was a thanks to the driver for something that happened 27 years ago.
New Jersey state trooper Michael Patterson pulled over Matthew Bailly on June 1 for tinted windows. As the two chatted, Bailly said he was a retired police officer from Piscataway, New Jersey, according to a Facebook post by the New Jersey State Police.
Patterson, 27, mentioned that he grew up on Poe Place in Piscataway. Bailly knew the area; he once helped deliver a baby there when he was a rookie cop. He even remembered the boy's name, Michael.
"My name is Michael Patterson, sir,'' the trooper said, extending his hand. "Thank you for delivering me."
"His mouth dropped - and so did mine," Patterson said at a press conference on Thursday. "I believe that it was a divine encounter. I met him for a reason."
Patterson and Bailly's first meeting had been on on Oct. 5, 1991, when Patterson's mother, Karen, went into labor while on her way home from shopping.
When Bailly arrived, a doctor talked him through the birth over the phone, the state police recalled.
After their chance meeting during the traffic stop, Patterson and his mother visited Bailly and his wife at their home and took some pictures with the man who'd helped them all those years ago.
"It was awesome,'' Patterson said. "You never think a routine stop like that turns into meeting the person who helped give the resources to bring you into the world."
“We were over there for two hours, just catching up," Karen Patterson told The Asbury Park Press. "They were so sweet. We’re all going to keep in touch.”
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