Rockwell Ryan Ripperger of American pop band Stephen Speaks and his crew, who were initially pulled over for running a red light in Manila but were later proven to have committed no violations, were apparently let off by a traffic enforcer in exchange for a selfie with the singer.
Ripperger, who is currently in the country for a series of shows, narrated his recent road experience through his band’s Facebook page on Friday, Feb. 17.
“Our Grab (like Uber) driver just got [pulled over in Manila] for running a red light, and my tour crew bribed him with a selfie with me to let us go. He said he sings ‘Passenger Seat’ at the karaoke bar,” Ripperger wrote, referring to one of his hit songs.
“I was like…. I can’t believe that actually worked,” he added.
The post elicited mixed reactions from netizens, which seemingly prompted Ripperger to make clarifications and update his post. The American singer then said that the transport network vehicle service (TNVS) driver and the traffic enforcer reviewed the video from the dashboard camera, which provided proof that the driver did not violate any traffic rules.
“The kid driving us showed the officer on his dash cam that he was clear of the light, someone stopped in front of him and that’s why he didn’t make it all the way through,” the singer explained. “You all need to chill out, we aren’t criminals here.”
“I saved that kid from a traffic ticket he didn’t deserve. It’s like the replay in a sports game when the referee realizes he saw it wrong,” he continued. “I offered to pay the traffic ticket for the kid, because he didn’t do anything wrong. You haters need to relax.”
Ripperger also came to the driver’s defense in response to some netizens’ comments including one from a certain Mike Santos who wished for the Philippine government to look into the incident and give the singer “a gift that [he] will regret.”
“Dude, the kid was just driving normal. Relax. He was clear of that light,” Ripperger replied. “It’s just a traffic ticket. I even offered to pay it before the officer saw the dash cam footage and 14 motorcycles cut him off.”
“We did nothing wrong, and justice was served proper the way it is supposed to be. Except for all the motorcycles breaking the laws who got away with it,” he stressed. “Go focus your anger on them.”
Rippergear arrived in Manila last week for a series of shows from Feb. 12 to Feb. 19. /ra