Of course, on that morning, the University of Wisconsin-Stout student had an important class presentation (and he was running late), so before he sped toward campus, in Menomonie, Keeney crumpled up the tie and shoved it in his backpack.
And that’s where it remained — until a Menomonie police officer, Martin Folczyk, pulled the student over for speeding and asked what had him in such a rush.
The interaction that followed, viewed as especially charming amid a time of heightened tensions between officers and their communities, was captured on the officer’s dash-cam video and posted by the department Tuesday on social media.
It has been shared nearly 7,500 times.
Keeney, clearly flustered, climbs out of his car in the school’s parking lot, bookbag in hand, and walks toward Folczyk, the video shows. The two exchange pleasantries then get down to business. The officer tells Keeney he pulled the student over because he was speeding at 8th Street and 13th Avenue.
Keeney offers a jumbled — and entirely relatable — answer: After failing to tie the tie himself, he rushed to a friend’s house for help, but his friend was not home.
“He knows how to tie ties, and I honestly don’t know how to,” the student admits sheepishly.
“Where’s the tie?” the officer asks.
“Right here,” Keeney replies.
He hands it to Folczyk, who without skipping a beat tosses it around his own neck.
“While I do this, why don’t you grab your proof of insurance and driver’s license quick?” the officer asks.
In the several minutes that follow, Keeney retrieves his paperwork and the officer returns the student’s tie, knotted and ready for wear.
“Probably not the best knot, but it’ll work,” the officer says.
“Yeah, it’ll work,” Keeney responds, smiling. “A lot better than I was going to do, that’s for sure. Thank you so much.”
Even then, the necktie rookie somehow manages to mangle it, tugging on the wrong loose end and forcing Folczyk — now very invested in the student’s appearance — to tie it all over again.
“It’s kind of hard with all this crap on,” the officer says, referring to his vest and radio and badge.
Keeney tries again, and this time it’s a little long, but the two decide it’s good enough.
“Looks good,” Folczyk says. “All right, man, slow it down.”
“Will do,” Keeney replies. “Thank you.”
After the video was released this week, praise for the officer flooded social media.
“Now how special is that?” one woman wrote on Facebook.
“Your cops tie some good ties!!” wrote another.
One commenter went deep:
Just want to thank this officer for setting an example. More and more in our day and age officers are being forced to worry more about being safe in any situation then actually helping the people that may need it most. As small of an issue as it was for this kid, this officer knew what it was like to be in his shoes at one point or another. His actions speak loud and clear about how much the police are needed in our lives but to deliver such a life changing altercation with a simple act of kindness means that only we as humans can really make a difference!
The student walked away with nothing more than a warning and a reminder to update his expired insurance card. He got a 92 percent on that presentation he was late to, Keeney later told ABC News, and after the Menomonie police chief learned of the interaction, he invited the college student down to the station for a proper lesson in the art of tying ties.
“I went back and met with him for about 30 minutes, and he taught me!” Keeney told ABC News. “It was cool.”
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