Military and Police

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas? Well, Not in Byram, Mississippi!

This is the time of year people like to hear good news and avoid bad news. And though good news stories involving cops happen everywhere and every day, they’re not reported everywhere and every day. So, being in the Christmas spirit, I want to help spread a little Christmas cop cheer.

There are two reasons I landed on this story, which comes courtesy of WAPT 16, the ABC TV station out of Jackson, Mississippi. One, it’s just a great Christmas story. Two, I happen to hail from the real Whoville. No, really. Never knew it growing up, but since then townspeople have learned that, according to Princeton University, Dr. Seuss was inspired to create Whoville by looking at Easthampton, Massachusetts. I grew up in this small town that sits at the base of Mount Tom, looking west from its long descending ridge-like summit in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

It made sense when I first heard about it. I knew Theodore Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, was born and raised in Springfield, Mass., which is about 14 miles from Easthampton. The town has embraced this unique honor and now holds an annual Whobalation celebration every December.

So, now that I’ve presented my Whoville credentials, and you now know I’m a bona fide native Whovillian, I gotta tell you about this:

According to WAPT, seems that TyLon Pittman, a five-year-old boy from Byram, Miss., was watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on his Mom’s smart phone. Concerned that the green burglar would target his house next, he did what any concerned citizen would do: Unbeknownst to his parents, he dialed 911.

So, Teresa Brown-Pittman, Tyson’s mother, was quite surprised when she answered a knock at the door and found Byram Police Officer Lauren Develle standing on the stoop. Develle informed Brown-Pittman that TyLon had called 911 to report to police he was afraid the Grinch would come and steal the family’s Christmas.

Officer Develle, after hearing about the call from the dispatcher, just had to stop by the little boy’s house. After interviewing TyLon and obtaining a good description of the suspect, “He looked, like…green,” Officer Develle assured TyLon that the police would put the Grinch in jail if he showed up.

The story went viral on Facebook after TyLon’s brother TeDera, who was home from the Air Force for the holidays, posted a video of TyLon and Officer Develle. It also doesn’t hurt that Officer Develle bears an uncanny resemblance to Cindy Lou Who. I’ll bet TyLon noticed this, too. The little guy seemed to bond quite quickly with Officer DeVelle, her blonde hair pulled up into a tight bun on top of her head.

Sometime after TyLon’s 911 report, officers of the Byram Police Department nabbed the Grinch in the act. They transported the green crook who was disguised as Santa Claus to the Byram police station. At the station, TyLon was waiting for the patrol car. After the arresting officers arrived with their prisoner, TyLon, having been apparently deputized, assisted officers with escorting the prisoner to a holding cell in the station.

After booking the Grinch, officers gave TyLon a tour of the police station and some Christmas presents before he left. TyLon says he wants to be a police officer when he grows up. Well, I want to be the first to welcome future Officer TyLon to the fold and wish him and everyone a very Merry Christmas.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at

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