Several Hamptons Police Department officers were called to Sag Harbor last Sunday when a visiting New Yorker attempted to propose to his longtime girlfriend via flash mob. The romantic gesture went terribly wrong, and revealed his love’s until-then-hidden panic disorder in the worst way.
According to witnesses, including several participants in the flash mob, as the man and his would-be betrothed neared Long Wharf at the north end of town, hundreds of paid and volunteer pedestrians froze, briefly creating an eerie scene before The Black Eyed Peas hit “I Gotta Feeling” began playing loudly and the crowd broke into a synchronized dance. “The lady’s face went deathly pale as soon as we all froze,” one flash mob dancer recalled. “We thought she’d smile and realize what was happening once we started moving, but things got worse from there,” he continued. “It was pretty messed up.”
Police reports and corroborating statements confirm that the woman, whose name has been withheld to protect her, “showed signs of serious distress.” As the music kicked in, and her boyfriend tore off his clothes to reveal a tuxedo hidden beneath, she began hyperventilating and attempting to push her way through the undulating, gyrating and jumping crowd of dancers, knocking several people to the ground.
“We tried to stop her because we assumed she’d lighten up and calm down once she saw this was a marriage proposal,” another flash mob participant, Mike Gregarian Jones, said. “Then she started screaming at the top of her lungs and punching people, including her shocked boyfriend. It was pretty bad.”
Following her attacks on multiple individuals, Hamptons Police were called to the scene and attempted to restrain the woman. Meanwhile, because many were unaware of what was happening, the music continued and dancers in back stayed committed to their routines. “It was essentially bedlam to a cheerful, upbeat soundtrack,” Jones added. “By the time they finally turned the music off and everyone stopped dancing, the cops had tazed, tackled and cuffed the woman, and were pushing her into an ambulance.”
As she was loaded onto an ambulance, the terrified woman’s husband, now weeping openly and apologizing to the injured dancers all around him, tried to explain himself. “He was just saying, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,’ over and over,” Jones said. “He said he didn’t expect her reaction to be like it was. Well, I’d say that was obvious and the understatement of the year.”
The woman, who had been mostly unintelligible as she screamed and attacked anyone nearby, was a bit more coherent aboard the ambulance. She was heard chastising her boyfriend, yelling, “No one does these anymore, Bill. Like, literally no one,” while the doors closed and the lights and siren kicked on.
Hamptons Police Department spokesman Larry Hirsch said no charges have been filed, but the matter is still under consideration.