Wilton police have admitted that an officer used poor judgment when he threw a ball at a turkey that had taken refuge in the rafters of the Wilton High School field house. The incident occurred on May 10, after students had lured the turkey in and officials had difficulty in getting it out. The turkey stayed in the rafters for two days before being caught with a net by a wildlife removal company.
The police department issued a statement on May 23 regarding a video that caught the officer’s action, indicating it had reviewed the incident.
“ A review of our officer’s response did confirm that the officer used poor judgment in their attempt to resolve the issue, by throwing a ball in the direction of the turkey,” the statement said. “It was found that the officer’s actions were not malicious or intended to cause harm to the turkey, rather an attempt to persuade the turkey to move from its current location.”
When the department’s shift supervisor arrived at the school, he instructed the officer to stop and called the wildlife company, the statement said.
“Our officers are tasked with responding to myriad different types of calls for services during the course of their shifts and careers. Many of these calls are general service-oriented calls that go beyond the scope of their roles as law enforcement officers or anything that was taught to them in the police academy. Despite that, our officers embrace the opportunity to serve the community of Wilton and solve problems, whether it is assisting a victim of a crime or assisting in an issue such as wildlife removal from a building,” the statement continued.
“We encourage our officers to be innovators in their attempts to solve community problems they are tasked with responding to. We also accept accountability when our actions can be improved. In the current incident the department and the officer recognize that the act of throwing a ball in the direction of the turkey was poor judgment. The appropriate course of action when confronted with a similar incident has been reviewed with the officer.”
The turkey’s stay was not without consequence. Gym classes had to be rescheduled or moved outside and bird droppings had to be cleaned up. Most of the gym was been sanitized before students returned.