At first, it looks like a proposal gone right. The woman is standing, hands over open mouth. The man is down on one knee.
But that's not quite what's happening in a video released by the New York Police Department. Just after the so-far-unidentified man proposed in Times Square, NYPD said, he dropped his now-fiancee's ring into a sidewalk grate.
What the video actually shows: the woman, surprised and aghast, and the man, kneeling to peer down into the grate to see how far the ring had fallen.
On Twitter and Facebook Sunday, the NYPD issued an all-hands bulletin. "WANTED," it said. "He was so excited that he dropped the ring in a grate. Our
@NYPDSpecialops officers rescued it & would like to return it to the happy couple. Help us find them?"
Then, almost 24 hours after it issued the call to arms — and nearly 19,000 retweets later — NYPD tweeted an update. The department had found the couple, who it said had since "returned to their home country." The tweet said the NYPD was making arrangements to return the ring. A spokesperson declined to identify the couple or offer details about how the ring was found.
Some 355,000 people pass through Times Square on an average day. The Internet is full of examples of proposals gone right. Times Square's official website even offers help for people who want to go big with a proposal on one of its famous billboards.
This proposal was more modest. The now-affianced man dropped the ring just before midnight Friday, according to the New York Daily News. He asked a police officer for help opening the grate, but they couldn't get it open. The NYPD was finally able to recover the ring Saturday morning, the Daily News reported.
The NYPD Twitter account gave credit for finding the ring to the department's special operations bureau, which also includes specialized aviation, harbor, and horse-mounted units. A tweet about the shiny, recovered ring stuck out in a Twitter feed also featuring close-up pictures of firearms that had been seized.
But a happy ending was coming for what the department called its "almost engaged" couple. Even before the ring made it home, the woman had said yes.