JACKSON, Miss. — It's actually a story of saving Christmas from the Grinch.
TyLon Pittman, a 5-year-old Mississippi boy, knew he was too little to take on the Grinch all by himself, so having identified the threat, he took action. TyLon called 911 to report that he did not want the Grinch to come steal his Christmas.
TyLon recapped the call he made Saturday night, unbeknownst to his family. "911 said, '911,' and guess what happened?" TyLon said.
What happened was that Byram (Miss.) Police Officer Lauren Develle heard about it and wanted TyLon to know that his holiday was safe.
"Our dispatcher posted a status on Facebook that she had received a call from a little boy ... and he told her he thought the Grinch was going to be coming to steal his Christmas," she said. "I asked her to send me his address."
When the family heard someone at the door late Saturday night, and then saw a flashlight outside, they didn't know what to think.
When they finally answered the door, there was Develle, who grew up loving How the Grinch Stole Christmas movie, and more than once in her life has been compared to the beloved character Cindy Lou Who.
"I kind of find it really funny. ... Every Christmas morning, my dad wears these Grinch pants," she said with a smile Sunday. "It's his favorite movie. Growing up seeing the Grinch every Christmas was my favorite thing."
TyLon's brother, TeDera Dwayne Graves, is in the Air Force. He's home for the holidays for the first time in four years and caught the interaction on video. He put the videos on Facebook, thinking his family and friends would enjoy the funny interaction between his brother and Develle.
"I can NOT make this up!!!" he posted. "My 5-year-old brother called the police and said that the Grinch is stealing people's Christmas and he don't want him to steal his, so they really came to our house!"
"The Grinch is not going to come steal your Christmas. I won't let that happen," Develle told TyLon.
TyLon told Develle that he had seen the video on Facebook. He showed her the video, and told her he watches all the videos about the Grinch.
"So what are you going to do if he tries to steal your Christmas?" Develle asked TyLon.
"I want y'all to come back to my house and take him to jail," TyLon replied.
Develle said she was pretty sure the Byram Police Department could handle that request.
"You thought the Grinch was going to steal your Christmas, for real?" TyLon's mother asked him.
The boy nodded solemnly. "He steals everybody's Christmas."
On Sunday, TyLon explained further what he will do if he runs across the green man himself.
"I'm going to say put your hands behind your back and get down on the ground, then when he gets on the ground, I'm gonna say, 'Why are you stealing Christmas?' " he said.
The little guy who wants to be a cop when he grows up may have won the hearts of the Byram Police Department, and Develle said she's definitely going to make sure that TyLon's Christmas isn't ruined by the Grinch. But, she pointed out, it's worth remembering that in the story, saving Christmas also involves saving the Grinch.
"I would be the one who would go out and try to find the Grinch and try to open up his heart to the joys of Christmas," Develle said.