PISCTAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A routine traffic stop turned into a remarkable reunion for a New Jersey State Police officer.
On June 1, State Trooper Michael Patterson was on patrol when he made a stop for a minor infraction. The man that was pulled over didn’t know it, but he encountered the same trooper 27 years ago.READ MORE: NYPD: Tourist From Ohio Wounded In Shooting Inside Manhattan 7-Eleven
“I approached the passenger side, and he shows me — I ask for license, registration, insurance card — and he shows me a Piscataway former police ID,” Patterson told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
Talking during the stop, Patterson mentioned he grew up in Piscatawy. So he and retired Police Officer Michael Bailly started talking about the place he grew up.READ MORE: MTA Set To Resume 24/7 Subway Service Early Monday
“I told him Poe Place. And he said, ‘Why do I remember that name, the name of that street?’ My wheels are turning right now, like how does he know? And then he said, ‘You know what, I had to deliver a baby on that street when I was fresh on the road, I was fresh out of the academy,'” said Patterson.
He said Bailly even remembered the baby’s name: Michael.
“I stretched out my hand, I said, ‘Sir, my name is Michael Patterson, I appreciate you helping deliver me,’” he said. “Jaw dropped, both of us were completely in awe. You can’t make up a better story.”
On that day, Patterson’s mom ran out to the grocery store and quickly realized it was time to go. When she got home, his dad called 911.
“Every year on Michael’s birthday, October 5, I tell the story to a bunch of friends that maybe haven’t heard it. And I get so teary-eyed — just the thought. It was a really great experience, but just to think about it and what could have happened,” his mother, Karen Patterson, told Baker.MORE NEWS: Confused About COVID-19 Mask Guidance? Here's The Current State Of Play In New York City
Patterson said he believes the chance reunion was some kind of divine encounter. The two men plan to stay in touch.