Officer Gives Teen Driver A Ticket – To See Justin Bieber
The Edgewood High School junior turned 17 Wednesday, and her parents, Rachel and Troy, wanted to find a creative way to give Abigail her birthday present – tickets to see Justin Bieber in concert in Louisville next week.
Instead of being tucked into a card, the ticket was hand-delivered by a Bloomington police officer. Abigail’s parents arranged to have her pulled over for a fake traffic violation on the way to her birthday dinner.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever gotten pulled over, and it’s on my birthday!” Abigail Guthrie said in a video of the prank her father secretly recorded on his phone.
Guthrie has been a Bieber fan since elementary school, and the pop singer’s popularity has surged with the recent release of his fourth album, “Purpose.”
“She’s always liked Justin Bieber,” Rachel Guthrie said. “She loves concerts. She’s just a big concert-goer.”
Rachel Guthrie knew her daughter was interested in seeing the “Sorry” singer perform live in Indianapolis this summer. “Tickets are too expensive,” she’d tell her daughter, trying to throw Abigail off the scent of her parents’ plan. “Let’s talk about it later.”
“I know she’s going to be excited, because she has no clue,” Rachel Guthrie said.
Rachel and Troy Guthrie searched online for a tricky way to surprise their daughter with two tickets for her and a friend to see Bieber in concert. With the help of her sister, Rachel was able to arrange for Troy to meet with Sgt. Brandon Lopossa of the Bloomington Police Department and devise the birthday scheme.
“Birthdays, we have always tried to make our children feel special,” Rachel Guthrie said. “We try to find something exciting. She’s grown up fast, but every birthday we always try to do something special.”
Troy Guthrie would tell his daughter that she would be driving the family to her birthday dinner. He would direct her to a restaurant, which would be a surprise. He had given the concert tickets and a description of the car they would be driving to Lopossa before the officer’s shift, and they communicated plans through text messages.
The family made their way to Janko’s Little Zagreb, and when she was close to Fairview Elementary School, Troy Guthrie told his daughter to make a right turn. But Abigail hadn’t used her turn signal early enough in a school zone, Lopossa said, after turning on his lights and sirens and pulling the teen over.
“That was where he did a really good job of improvising,” Rachel Guthrie said. “Her reaction is classic Abigail mad. She was ticked she was getting a ticket.”
In the video, Rachel sits quietly in the back seat while Troy gently chastises his daughter that the insurance rates will go up if she gets a ticket.
“Please let me off with a warning,” she whispers. “It’s my birthday!”
But Lopossa returns with an envelope, and asks Abigail to look over the violation to see when her court date will be.
“What the heck is this?” Abigail shrieks after seeing what kind of “ticket” the police officer actually gave her. “I’m going to cry!”
“It’s definitely something she’s going to remember for a while,” Rachel Guthrie said. “I’m also kind of glad that the first time she was pulled over we were there with her.”
Lopossa has worked in law enforcement for 17 years. During a March awards ceremony, he received a merit certificate, a suicide prevention coalition award, a bravery and life saving award and a community service award. He also received the Bloomington Police Department’s highest honor at the ceremony: He was named 2015’s officer of the year.
“It’s good for the younger generation to see that police are people, too. It’s rewarding to see people happy,” Lopossa said Thursday afternoon at a community outreach event on the Indiana University campus.
For the record, Abigail Guthrie properly used her turn signal at the four-way stop at Seventh and Rogers streets, he said.