In 2018, New Jersey State Trooper Michael Patterson was making routine stops on the highway when he pulled one driver over for a small infraction. He thought the pull-over would be a usual part of a day’s work, but the initially standard interaction quickly turned into this New Jersey state trooper making an arresting discovery about his past, and the man behind the wheel.
Just A Routine Day
For New Jersey State Trooper Michael Patterson, his day at work on June 1, 2018 was supposed to be like any other day. He would patrol the highway looking for people speeding or reckless driving, maybe hand out a few tickets. All just a part of the day’s work.
He had gone into police training because of an incident in his past, and grew up respecting officers for their hard work. So when it came time for him to figure out what to do with his life, the choice was pretty easy. He did not know it yet, but an assumed run-of-the-mill traffic stop would leave him speechless upon discovering the true identity of the man behind the wheel and the unbelievable link he held to the trooper’s past.
Noticing A Suspicious Vehicle
Trooper Michael Patterson had spent his morning on this particular hot summer day handing out typical traffic violations. And as the day slowly dragged on without much incident, it seemed as if he was about to hand out at least one more, if what he was seeing was correct.
Right there on the Kingswood Township Highway, Michael spotted a white BMW passing him on the road. The trooper immediately noticed a problem, and the issue with this car was not that it was speeding or driving recklessly. The issue was something else entirely, and something he saw a lot less frequently than speeding.
Pulling Over The Car
Just one look at the car in question and its very dark tinted windows, and the state trooper knew that something was wrong. The level of tint had to be illegal, as New Jersey and most other states regulate how dark a motorist can make their windows.
The windows of this white BMW were so dark that the state trooper could barely see who was inside. Even the front windows were tinted, which was definitely illegal in New Jersey at the time. With that, Patterson flipped a switch, turned on the lights on his patrol car, and proceeded to pull the car over.
Stepping Out And Approaching The Tinted Car
The 26-year-old, New Jersey cop pulled over the white BMW, stepped out of his vehicle, and started to approach the car. Patterson left his lights flashing as he came to the driver’s side window. He made sure his body cam was turned on, the footage from which would end up making rounds all over the Internet.
Patterson had pulled drivers over countless times. It was truly just another part of his normal day. But that didn’t mean that every stop was always the same. With any stop, the moment a police officer approaches a car, the situation can become unpredictable. But no one could have predicted what was about to happen in this specific case.
Not A Typical Traffic Stop
Officer Patterson approached the car to see a middle aged man behind the wheel. He did what police usually do during a traffic stop. He asked, “Sir, do you know why I have pulled you over today?” The man said he was unsure why he had been stopped by the highway trooper.
So Patterson proceeded to explain why he had pulled him over. He explained that the driver’s window tints were against New Jersey law, and that he had noticed them as the car passed by. The driver admitted that he was a bit embarrassed about the entire situation, considering who he was.
The Driver Admits What He Used To Do
The driver of the tinted vehicle explained to Patterson explained why he was a little off put by this error with his car. After all, he was a retired New Jersey police officer himself. He was used to following the law because he enforced it in the state for 30 years.
He introduced himself as Matthew, and explained that while he really loved his job as a police officer, he ultimately made the decision to retire. Matthew was looking forward to enjoying his life outside of the police force and to see what would come in the next few years. But he was not expecting the surprising information that conversation would soon divulge into.
The Driver Tries To Get Out Of The Ticket
After introducing himself, things got a little more relaxed between the active police officer and the retired one. With both of them having this shared experience in law enforcement, a rapport was immediately established between the two. Matthew was hoping that maybe the connection would get him out of a ticket.
Matthew apologized for his tinted windows and started to explain that he had recently added the tints to his vehicle at a local auto shop. While he had assumed they would be up to legal standards, he was apparently wrong. Matthew promised to get them fixed. But before that would happen, the conversation would take a turn.
Discussing Other Matters
Office Patterson had to admit that it was pretty cool to run into someone who had been through what he was currently going through. Having a run in with a retired New Jersey cop was a nice way to break up his otherwise monotonous day.
The two continued to talk, and the driver, Matthew, explained that while he currently lived around the corner, he patrolled an area that was over 40 miles away when he was an on-duty officer. As Patterson listened, some information came forward that particularly piqued his interest in this potential new friend. But it would soon be clear, this was no normal meeting of colleagues.
The Past Begins To Come Out
The two had plenty to talk about. They spoke about their educations, their units, and anything that two police officers could bond over regarding their careers. At one point, the conversation turned into something a bit more personal for both of them.
Over the period of a police officer’s career, he or she can witness some pretty high adrenaline situations. The two started telling each other stories about the unusual things that they have both witnessed. In that moment, Matthew started to think about a particularly crazy circumstance that he once found himself in, and decided to share it with the officer who had pulled him over.
Matthew Shares A Memory
The incident Matthew began to unveil had occurred in a New Jersey town called Piscataway, in the area where he used to be stationed on patrol. Incidentally, Officer Patterson admitted that he also knew that town well. In face, he had actually been born and raised in the town.
In fact, Patterson explained, his mother and the rest of his family still lived in Piscataway, and he went there often to visit. The hometown coincidence caught Patterson’s attention even more about this retired police officer and his background, and he listened intently as Matthew continued to recall this particularly eventful experience.
A Wild Night In Piscataway
Matthew recalled one fateful night decades ago when he got a call that would stay with him forever. At the time, he had four years of police experience under his belt. And while that might seem like a lot, within the field of law enforcement he was still considered a rookie.
During that particular night, Matthew was patrolling around the relatively small town, much like Patterson had been doing that day. And also like Patterson, Matthew was patrolling alone at the time. Suddenly, he got a call over the police radio about a major emergency, and knew his night was about to be far from normal.
An Unexpected Situation
On the other side of Piscataway, a pregnant woman had been grocery shopping with her son when she noticed something was very, very wrong. She did not know exactly what was happening, but she knew to listen to her body and get herself home as fast as possible.
The woman drove herself home from the grocery store and immediately alerted her husband. She knew that her baby was due any day now, she just did not expect it to happen so soon. Once she arrived home, it was too late. Her husband knew that he had to call for help.
An Emergency Labor
Usually when women talk about being in labor, they talk about the amount of hours the process takes. But this was different. Matthew recalled that from the expectant mother’s account, it was clear that she could see and feel that labor was already taking place, and it was happening fast.
As her husband called the police, the pregnant woman knew that she was not going to make it to the hospital. The pain was too strong. She situated herself in her bedroom, worried about what was about to take place. She lay helpless in bed, scared, nervous and waiting for the police to arrive.
Matthew Arrives At the Scene
The then-active duty officer, Matthew, rushed to the scene as quickly as possible, with his siren blaring and his lights illuminating the whole neighborhood. He heard updates over the radio and knew that this woman was in dire need of help. As a cop, he had some training for this type of situation. But nothing can truly prepare a person for this.
“At that point, I did not have any children of my own,” Matthew later told CBS This Morning. “I had never seen it, experienced it, I was just trying to recall my academy days of my training,” he said of being present at a event. By the time he arrived, the woman was suffering from major contractions. Matthew knew that the birth had to take place in the bedroom.
The Birth Of A Baby, And An Incredible Future Coincidence
Matthew was not going to act like an expert at delivering a baby. So instead, he called one. He got on the phone with the woman’s doctor and, alongside her husband, stayed on the phone and followed the man’s instructions.
With everyone’s adrenaline pumping from the unusual situation, tensions were high. Ultimately, the woman gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy. Matthew had experienced one of the most amazing moments of his life, and one of the most mind blowing. He was overwhelmed with what he had just witnessed. But this was only half of the story of what was to come.
The Officer Can’t Believe What He Is Hearing
This was definitely not the first time that Matthew had told this story to someone. Since it was just about the craziest thing to happen to him during his time as a police officer, he would often recall to friends the day that he helped deliver a baby in a woman’s bedroom.
But as Matthew told the story, he could already tell that this time was a bit different. Not because he was talking to a fellow police officer, but because of Officer Michael Patterson’s reaction. He could tell that the officer who’d pulled him over was amazed, but something else was happening. As he finished his story, he waited for Patterson’s response. He did not know what to expect, but he certainly was not expecting what would come.
The Officer Starts To Ask More Questions
When most people heard the retired officer’s story, some would usually comment on the sheer oddity of it all, while others would call Matthew brave. Almost everyone would comment on how crazy the story was. He would usually get a lot of questions. But the officer in front of him started asking some unusual questions that Matthew was not used to being asked.
First, Officer Patterson asked about the exact date of the entire ordeal. Afterward, he asked about the name of the street where the whole thing took place. Matthew assumed that Patterson must have been asking since he, too, came from Piscataway. He was about to learn that his assumptions were wrong.
Connecting The Dots
Matthew, of course, remembered all of the details about that day. It was the first time he ever delivered a baby, so every memory stuck with him. He told Patterson that the incident happened on the night of October 5, 1991 – 26 years prior to the day when the officer pulled Matthew over.
When Michael asked which neighborhood the birth took place in, Matthew responded that the street name was Poe Place. It was a street name that he would never forget after that night. The on-duty New Jersey cop standing across from him felt the same way about Poe Place, but for very different reasons.
Officer Patterson Has Just One More Question
As the driver and retired police officer gave Michael all of the details that he could remember, the New Jersey cop stood with his mouth open next to the driver’s side window. He could not believe what he was hearing from this stranger in the driver’s seat.
Michael’s mind was racing, he could not gather his thoughts. Before he blurted out what was on his mind, he needed one more piece of information. Without trying to sound strange, he asked the retired officer one last question. What was the name of the woman who had given birth in her bedroom that fated night?
The Shocking Name Drops
Matthew’s memory was so clear about that night that he did not just share with Patterson the name of the woman, but so much more. He recalled that the mother’s name was Karen, and then he went on with other details.
Matthew described the area of Poe Place where the house was. He described the color of the home and the style of the home where he delivered the baby. The more he thought about it, the more he could remember. For example, he said he could recall the baby’s name after all these years. He believed the mother named him Michael.
“That Was Me”
Michael Patterson could not believe what he was hearing. Every year for the New Jersey officer’s birthday, his mother would call and retell the story of his unusual birth. He knew all of the details: the grocery shopping, the at home birth, and the cop who helped deliver him. Now, in the craziest coincidence, Michael was coming face to face with that same officer.
“That was me! That was me!” Michael said to Matthew. Matthew immediately responded, “Get the hell out of here!” Both men were completely in shock that a traffic stop had brought them together. Michael finally introduced himself by saying “My name is Michael Patterson, sir. Thank you for delivering me.” But their incredible story didn’t end there.
Dealing With The Inconceivably Coincidental Truth
What were the chances that a highway trooper would pull over the very same police officer who helped with his delivery as a baby? Both of the men were left speechless. They laughed, they shook hands and they shook their heads at how unbelievable the entire situation was.
Luckily, since Patterson’s body camera was on for the entire exchange, he had footage of the meeting. No one probably would have believed his story otherwise. It was then Matthew got himself out of a ticket, considering that he’d helped bring the state trooper who pulled him over into this world. But as Matthew pulled away, Patterson was left with one regret, and he needed to make it right.
A Letter He Never Thought He Would Write
As Matthew drove away, Michael Patterson immediately told his family about the run in, and they were just as shocked as he was. They asked if the two had taken a picture together or exchanged information. Patterson said he hadn’t, and was kicking himself for missing the opportunity. But then he remembered an important detail.
Before the exchange, the officer had taken down Matthew’s drivers’ license information. He then used that information to find Matthew’s address, which was right around the corner from where the pull-over occurred. So the young officer wrote a note to man who had delivered him and left it on his door, suggesting they meet again sometime. The highway trooper was hopeful but unsure of what would come.
A Fated Reunion
Of course, Matthew jumped at the opportunity to meet again with the now grown man he had delivered as a baby, and to get a few pictures with him. Patterson along with his mother came to Matthew’s home and met his wife. Together, they had a tear-filled reunion that was 26 years in the making, and reflected upon that wild evening on Poe Place.
The New Jersey State Police posted pictures of the reunion, along with the video of their coincidental meeting taken on Michael’s body cam. The story quickly went viral, with people stunned by the chance encounter. All these years later, and Michael’s mother was still brought to tears thinking about that night, and the police officer who helped save her child. But there was more to come from this reunion.
A Bond Since Birth
The reunion between both families will not be the last, according to both Matthew, Michael Patterson and his mother. “We’re definitely going to stay in touch, because this is a special relationship and it was meant to happen,” Michael’s mother said. “Things don’t just happen like that.”
In an interview, Matthew wholeheartedly agreed. The bond established between the three of them after such an intimate moment decades prior was something that they all believe will not be broken. And the meeting decades later confirmed that. “I think a greater power somehow made that meeting happen and I’m not sure where it’s going to take us, and I’m willing to go on the journey,” Matthew said.
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