ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - An Orange County deputy is speaking out about a traffic stop that went viral. But in a good way.
"My name is TJ Bristol, and I just got pulled over by these beautiful police officers." TJ Bristol recorded a selfie video after he was pulled over by Corporal Virginia Ricks along Pine Hills Road.
"I pulled over a driver for not wearing his seatbelt, and when I pulled him over, he was very nervous, but a nervous of 'I can't believe I messed up.'"
TJ is a gospel singer as well as a jail chaplain, who was rushing to get to church on Sunday. But he sang a different tune when serenading Corporal Ricks. "I gotta sing my way out of this ticket," he said. Then continued, "You are so beautiful to me. You are so beautiful to me. Can't you see!"
At the time, TJ had no idea, what Corporal Ricks was going through. "The month of December is pretty rough for me. I lost my husband five years ago Dec 8, so we're reliving the nightmare and I get upset." Her husband, Orange County Deputy Brandon Coates, was shot and killed during a traffic stop. For Corporal Ricks the serenade was almost spiritual, especially at a time when it's tough being a law enforcement officer. "It was therapeutic," she said. "It reminded me of why I do this job."
TJ told Good Day Orlando what it was like. "It felt it was not just me singing to her, her husband was still letting her know. It started to make sense to me, because I wouldn't just normally jump out with a stick, so I was like, wow! So it had to be divine intervention.
"There's a reason for everything," said Corporal Ricks. "I've always been a firm believer in that." She believes Brandon was watching over her at that moment, When asked what she missed the most about him, she replied, "His smile and his laugh. He had this laugh that I can still hear. He instilled in us how important this job is and that we need to keep going no matter what."
And she said people like TJ make it all worth while.