A PECO Worker Saved This Couple’s Wedding Ring From a Philly Gutter

It’s a true Philly fairy tale.


peco, wedding ring, sewer

Photos courtesy of Erin Brown

About one week after Steve Brown told his wife that his wedding ring felt loose, the precious heirloom from his late grandfather slid off his finger and rolled right through a Philly sewer grate into the city’s subsurface Land of Lost Items.

Brown dropped the ring last Friday night while walking through Center City with his wife, Erin Brown. It slipped through a sewer grate on Filbert Street between 12th and 13th streets, outside the Marriott Hotel. But unlike previous owners of the 12-foot-hole’s other victims (cash, credit cards, condoms, an employee badge, and a few sets of keys), Steve and Erin were determined to retrieve the ring engraved with his grandparents’ initials and wedding date.

The Browns’ story has been gaining attention since Erin posted about it in a Twitter thread over the weekend. The couple did get the ring back — but only after a wild ride involving a trip to Home Depot and some kind strangers, including a PECO worker whom the couple has dubbed their “knight in shining armor.”

“On Saturday, I was like, ‘Well, we might as well try ourselves,’” Erin said of their decision to fish for the ring (which they figured city officials couldn’t help retrieve until Monday). “I said, ‘Let’s go to Home Depot.’”

There, the couple bought items to fashion themselves a sort of sewer-grate fishing rod. “We looked at different hooks, a device that could be used to unclog sinks, and eventually we stuck dowel rods and a hanger together with duct tape,” Erin said.

It actually worked — they used the device to retrieve a ring. But it wasn’t Steve’s ring.

“I was very impressed that we were able to fish out a ring, it was just the wrong ring,” Erin said. “We thought it was Steve’s because it looked gold, but that’s because it was just completely rusted over.”

The story continues. People walking through the area proceeded to attempt to help the Browns; some even lay beside Erin and peered down the grate, she said.

After about an hour, the hero of the story arrived. The couple spotted a police officer, who called a PECO worker named Brian Naughton. Naughton removed the grate and descended into the underground with a flashlight to retrieve the ring.

And so the Brown’s very-Philly fairy tale had a happy ending.

Erin said she took down Naughton and the officer’s names and plans to call their supervisor to make sure they get “some recognition.”

Of course, they took a group photo. Then they made plans to get the ring resized.