Children of the world can rest easy this Christmas Eve. Five-year-old TyLon Pittman — with a little help from the police department in Byram, Mississippi — put the notorious Christmas-stealing Grinch behind bars.
The incident, which has gone viral, began this past Saturday night, when the boy made a secret phone call to 911 to alert the police to the Grinch’s nefarious ways. He had seen a clip from the animated classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” — and was determined to ensure that Byram’s finest were on the case.
The child was concerned his own Christmas and that of his neighbors would succumb to the wily green menace.
“He steals everybody’s Christmas!” the wise youngster warned.
Later, he told his mother, TeResa Pittman, that he had made the call, but she didn’t take the tot seriously at the time. So imagine her surprise when Officer Lauren Develle arrived on the family’s doorstep later that evening to reassure the boy.
TyLon Pittman’s brother captured the interaction on video, which he posted on his Facebook page. The video of the endearing interaction between the little boy and Officer Develle quickly went viral. Not only did the local paper, the Clarion Ledger, pick up the story, but it was featured on “Good Morning America,” the “Today” show, and other major outlets.
But the story didn’t end with the interaction at the family’s home. The icing on this heartwarming Christmas tale came on Monday, when Byram’s Police Department arranged for the boy to literally lock up the Grinch in a holding cell inside the department’s headquarters.
The child — who hopes to become an officer himself when he grows up — received a Byram PD baseball cap and a Grinch toy to commemorate the important day. Young TyLon was made an honorary junior officer for the day as well. Byram’s police chief, Luke Thompson, encouraged him to return when he was 21 to apply to become an official part of the force.
In his five-star review posted to the Byram Police Department’s Facebook page, TyLon’s big brother, TeDera Graves II, a U.S. Air Force airman, said, “It’s the little things like this that go unnoticed, especially in society today, with what police officers do. Thank you to Officer Develle and BPD for not only making my little brother’s day but for showing him that being an officer isn’t just about stopping crime. Thank you for all that you do for the community; your hard work and dedication to the mission doesn’t go unnoticed.”