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Officer Used 'Poor Judgment' In Incident Involving Turkey At Wilton HS, Police Review Says

Wilton police
Wilton police Photo Credit: File

A Wilton police officer allegedly "used poor judgment" when he threw a basketball at a turkey stuck in the rafters at Wilton High School, according to the Wilton Police Department.

The incident took place on Monday, May 6, when Wilton Police were called to the high school field house for a report of a turkey int he rafters that was defecating on the gymnasium floor, said Wilton Police Capt. Robert Cipolla.

When officers arrived at the school, one of the officers threw a basketball at the bird in an effort to get it to move, Cipolla said.

The department became aware of the incident on Friday, May 10, and a video that shows the officer throwing the ball. The department conducted a review of the incident and found that that the "officer used poor judgment in their attempt to resolve the issue, by throwing a ball in the direction of the turkey," Cipolla 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," he added.

The review of the incident also found that when a shift supervisor arrived at the school, he instructed the officer to quit throwing the ball and instead, contacted a private wildlife removal company to move the bird.

"Our officers are tasked with responding to myriad different types of calls for services during the course of their shifts and careers," Cipolla said. " 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."

Cipolla went on to add that the department also accepts accountability when its actions can be improved. 

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