Fayette County

Traffic stop or marriage proposal? How UK police helped injured officer pop the question.

Police conspire in elaborate, triumphant marriage proposal

Rocco Besednjak, an officer forced to retire after a suspect drove over him, turned to University of Kentucky police to pull off his proposal to nurse Lauren Vincent. It unfolded without a hitch.
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Rocco Besednjak, an officer forced to retire after a suspect drove over him, turned to University of Kentucky police to pull off his proposal to nurse Lauren Vincent. It unfolded without a hitch.

University of Kentucky Police helped a retired officer propose marriage to his fiancée by conducting a traffic stop of the car she was driving.

The good news is Lauren Vincent, 36, said “yes” when Rocco Besednjak, 38, popped the question Thursday. But it took five or six months of planning to get to that point.

Besednjak is medically retired from Shepherdsville police because of injuries he received last summer when he was run over by a woman whom he was attempting to arrest. Besednjak was dragged nearly 20 feet, and his leg was run over, according to an officer who witnessed the incident. Besednjak had back surgery last week.

Although he is retired, he still thinks of himself as a police officer, and he wanted to tie the proposal to UK.

Vincent, his fiancée, works as a nurse manager at the pediatric forensics unit at UK Children’s Hospital. So Besednjak enlisted UK police to help with the proposal.

It went down like this: Vincent and her supervisor, Dr. Christina Howard, took Howard’s Subaru Outback en route to the Ronald McDonald House to pick up a donation for the hospital. Howard, who is pregnant, asked Vincent to drive.

While on the way, as part of the ruse to get Vincent to slow down, Howard said she was feeling sick. About that time, Sgt. Michael Pope followed in his UK police vehicle with Besednjak riding as a passenger.

Pope pulled Vincent over in the parking lot of Kroger Field. As Pope walked up to tell Vincent that something was dragging behind the car, Besednjak crouched down behind the Subaru.

When Vincent got out of the car to see what she was dragging, there was Besednjak kneeling between the two vehicles.

Besednjak said Vincent was more concerned about his health in the wake of spinal decompression surgery: “You’re not supposed to be kneeling! Why are you kneeling?”

But when he asked for an answer she did say “Yes.”

“I told her I loved her and she had great heart and how she has made every day, especially in the last year, a better day,” Besednjak said.

As for the woman who ran over Besednjak, Taira Litsey, she was sentenced in May to 40 years in prison.

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