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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Police kick wedding party off TREC

Rosie and Phillip Martinez prepare to be married on TREC Jan. 22. This photo was taken by a friend before police arrived and told them to move the ceremony off TCC property.
Photo courtesy Rosie Martinez
Rosie and Phillip Martinez prepare to be married on TREC Jan. 22. This photo was taken by a friend before police arrived and told them to move the ceremony off TCC property. Photo courtesy Rosie Martinez

By Bethany Peterson/editor-in-chief

Rosie Martinez and her new husband Sgt. Phillip Martinez, who was about to deploy to Afghanistan, hoped to exchange vows Jan. 22 on TREC close to the Trinity River, but campus police turned them away before the wedding started.

Rosie and Phillip Martinez prepare to be married on TREC Jan. 22. This photo was taken by a friend before police arrived and told them to move the ceremony off TCC property.
Photo courtesy Rosie Martinez

Martinez and her fiancé wanted to be married near the river because they run the river trails whenever he comes to see her, Martinez said.

“We met in downtown Fort Worth, and I wanted to be married where we met,” she said.

They also had a time crunch to tie the knot before her husband’s Army unit deployed Jan. 28 to California and then Afghanistan. Her husband has already been sent to Iraq twice while in the Marines, Martinez said.

“Thank God he has returned safely every time,” she said.

The couple visited the campus a few times after hours and didn’t see anyone, Martinez said.

“I thought it would be nice,” she said. “He has a small family, my parents came up, and I told a few friends.”

On Jan. 22, when the couple and their friends headed down to the river, a TCC police officer stopped them and asked what they were doing, Martinez said. When they told the officer, he said he understood their situation but needed to check. Another officer arrived and said they would have to get a permit before they could use the campus but that they could hold the ceremony on the sidewalk above the campus.

“My mom was exhausted, and I couldn’t see taking her anywhere else,” Martinez said.

So the couple moved to the sidewalk of West Weatherford Street and exchanged vows there.

“Honestly, I wanted to get upset, but my husband took hold of me and said, ‘It doesn’t matter. We are getting married,’” Martinez said. “That was just what I needed to hear.”

TR Campus president Tahita Fulkerson said this incident highlighted the need for a revised public access policy, something the college was already working on.

“Police acted on the policy for events,” she said. “We always want to be open to the public, but, as a district, we are looking at our public access policy. We want to let people in if it is safe.”

Reginald Gates, vice chancellor of communication and external affairs, visited Rosie Martinez to apologize.

“We mishandled this situation,” Gates said. “I talked with the young lady and told her if she ever wants to host an event here, to contact me and I will personally help arrange it.”

He said TREC belongs to all the citizens of Tarrant County, but there are safety concerns, so the college wants people to book external events.

But in the meantime, Martinez and her husband are happily married and starting to enjoy their unique story.

“He said, ‘When I get lonely, I think I’m going to pull this article out and have a good laugh,’” she said.

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