COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - The art of the marriage proposal often involves sweeping a person’s betrothed off their feet, not having them pulled over by police. But a Cottage Grove man enlisted the help of local law enforcement to profess his love for his longtime girlfriend - a prank-turned-proposal that now has Matthew Pitoscia and Katie Borner planning their wedding.

The couple, both 23, are Park High School sweethearts who have been together for seven years. Admittedly generous on the gas pedal, Borner said the proposal had her genuinely worried that a speeding ticket was in her future. Instead it was a ticket to married life.

“Well, I know Katie always speeds and she’s always looking out for the cops so I thought that it would be perfect for a cop to get her while she’s coming home,” Pitoscia joked.

Pitoscia purchased the ring in May, but found the perfect opportunity Saturday when he came across officer Clare Boyle, who was parked in her squad outside the fire station on 80th Street.

“He walked up to me and said he wanted me to help him propose to his girlfriend. So I said, ‘When?’ and he said, ‘Today,’” Boyle said, adding that in her 11 years with the police department she has never had a request like that. “I was more than happy to do this because I’m a sucker for romance.”

The plan was to have officer Boyle pull Borner over along 80th Street as she traveled home from work. But she managed to evade Pitoscia and officers - unintentionally, of course - and made it home.

“Well, the reason I was driving so fast is because I like to tell Matt that I’m close to home when I’m really still 15 minutes away because it takes him so long to come over,” Borner laughed. “He’s sort of a putzer.”

After arriving home, Borner said she put down her phone and got ready to go to the beach - the couple’s plan for the afternoon.

“So of course I’m thinking I’m going to the beach, so I took off all my makeup, threw my hair up in this absurd ponytail and put on a horrible outfit,” she said.

Forced to improvise, Pitoscia called Borner a number of times before getting a hold of her to say he had a flat tire and needed to be picked up on 80th Street near Keats Avenue. Rushing to his aid, Borner was quickly within the sights of Boyle, who was waiting down the street.

“When officer Boyle flew up behind me I knew I was screwed,” Borner said. “But then two more officers pulled up and I started to get a little freaked out because I thought this was just going to be a routine traffic stop.”

Pitoscia, nervous from a plan that had changed once already, snuck behind Boyle’s squad car and waited. Officer Gena Kroshus was also in on the gag, but Boyle said once Borner saw her boyfriend she knew what was going on.

“She started crying immediately,” Boyle said.

“They knew I knew what this was so they let me get out of the car,” Borner said. “They got me good.”

Pitoscia dropped down to one knee and managed to get out: “Katie, will you marry me?” He said by then wedding music could be heard coming from one of the squad car’s speakers.

“I’m really happy and glad it turned out like this,” he said. “I’m glad I finally got to do it for her.”

As far as the guestlist, perhaps Boyle and Kroshus will make the cut?

“We’ll definitely extend the invitation,” Borner said. “It was fun to see that we didn’t inconvenience them because they already do so much non-fun stuff things. They were so nice and they made it so awesome. And they were really genuinely happy for us.”

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