Police Buy Thanksgiving Dinner for Man Whose Turkey Was Stolen

By Ari Mason
|  Monday, Dec 2, 2013  |  Updated 9:46 PM EDT
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When a Bridgeport man was robbed of his Thanksgiving dinner, police found a way to turn his day around.

When a Bridgeport man was robbed of his Thanksgiving dinner, police found a way to turn his day around.

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When a Bridgeport, Conn., man was robbed of his Thanksgiving dinner, police found a way to turn his day around.

The victim, Jimmy Mulligan, called police Thursday morning to say he was walking to his friend’s house carrying a turkey and stuffing when he was approached by a man with a gun.

"I was just robbed at gunpoint right there," Mulligan told the 911 dispatcher. "They took my turkey. ... Somebody came up behind me, pushed something in my back, told me to face the garage, give them my wallet and to let go of the plastic bag."

The robber also took the victim’s wallet, police said.

"At first I thought he was joking, but I could hear from his voice that he was serious," said dispatcher Denny Viera, who spoke with the victim.

Officer Daniel Mendez headed to the scene and confirmed that the turkey had been stolen, according to police.

Viera had done her job but was inspired to give back.

"I wanted to do something," she said.

She called a local Stop and Shop supermarket in an effort to replace the stolen turkey, but there were none left. Viera also figured it was getting too late in the day to start cooking a turkey, so she headed to Boston Market instead.

Police said Viera and her coworkers bought two turkey dinners for Mulligan and his friend. Mendez picked up the dinners and delivered them to the victim.

"When he gave them the meals, Danny said they were the happiest guys on earth," Viera said.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch issued the following statement thanking Viera and the officers:

 "I can't say enough about the compassion and empathy shown by the men and woman who work in the 911 center. It's is a difficult job. When they answer the phone, usually they are speaking to someone in crisis. Denny did her job well, got police to the scene and then thought, "I want to do more." She and her colleagues rallied around this man and brightened his Thanksgiving."

Police are investigating the robbery.

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