New Rochelle police got quite a surprise -- and more than a few laughs -- after a serious situation turned comical following an erroneous report of a man digging in Davenport Park. Two witnesses reported a suspicious person at the park and somehow the idea was conveyed that the man was burying a body.
"Two people reported seeing a suspicion person several days ago, maybe as far back as last weekend," said New Rochelle Police Detective Captain Joseph Schaller.
Officers were dispatched to the scene after the call was received. New Rochelle police officers responded in force after the officers observed that soil had been disturbed in area where, according to a tipster, a man was observed the night before. The department's Forensic Unit, the K-9 Unit and the Critical Incident Unit all responded to the scene. In all, over a dozen police officers responded.
According to sources who were present, as police began to work the scene, a neighborhood resident came by to ask what was going on in the park. Informed of the report of a suspicion person burying a body at the park, the neighbor informed police that he thought the man they were looking for was probably his friend. The man explained that his friend often came into the park at night to dig for mussels along the shore at Davenport Park.
Digging for shellfish in New Rochelle parks is prohibited.
Police were able to contact the friend who confirmed he had been in the park the night before digging for mussels.
Once police confirmed that their grave digger was actually a clam digger the investigation ended.