A police officer in a Cleveland suburb posted a message on social media after ticketing an 18-year-old for driving 100 mph in a 65 mph zone.
Addressing his message to "the 18-year-old kid I stopped on SR 10," the officer with the North Ridgeville Police Department wrote on Facebook Sunday he didn't feel bad about writing the ticket.
"You’re welcome," the letter read. "I’d like to believe that you were minutes away from creating an unspeakable Christmas tragedy when I stopped you. If not only killing yourself, you were well on your way to killing some innocent person who was minding their own business doing nothing else wrong but being in front of you."
The officer wrote that while the teen was frightened and "visibly shaking" during the stop, that fear came "one minute too late."
"I can tell you dozens of stories of dead and broken 18-year-old bodies that I've pulled cars. Broken bodies that I've found in front yards after crashes. Unrecognizable bodies," the officer wrote. "They thought they were invincible too. They weren't. They were gone so they missed the part where I had to tell their parents they were dead."
The officer said the reckless teen driver told him they "didn't realize how fast" they were going.
"That's a lie," the officer wrote. "You may not realize when you’re doing 45 in a 35 but you are fully aware of every mile per hour at 100. You realize it with every bump you hit. You realize it as you pass cars so fast the wind moves your car. You realize it every time you drift over the line and when you move the wheel the car reacts a lot quicker than you’re used to. You absolutely realized it."
The letter, which was posted alongside a photo of the ticket, was shared more than 61,000 times, with thousands of commenters thanking the officer.
The Department declined to name the officer who wrote the post or provide more details about the encounter and decision to pen the post.
Captain Marti Garrow told NBC that "a couple people" at the department write for their Facebook page and the post "speaks for itself."
"It's not about the person. It's about the police department," he said when asked why the department was not identifying the officer.
"You seemed like a really nice kid who made a bad decision," the viral Facebook message read. "I don’t feel bad about this ticket at all. In fact, I’m proud of it. I hope you’re paying it off for months and with every payment you think about how it wasn’t worth it. I hope you slow down. I hope that when your mom tells you to 'drive safe' you make a promise to her, and yourself, that you will. I hope you can envision me sitting in your kitchen telling your screaming mother that you have been killed."
--Daniel Macht contributed to this story.