Castle Hills police surprise drivers with turkeys, not tickets

The Castle Hills mayor and a local business bought the turkeys to surprise drivers.

CASTLE HILLS – Some drivers in Castle Hills received quite the surprise today. It wasn’t at the pump or a speed trap, safe drivers were stopped by police to receive a Thanksgiving surprise.

We’ve all been there.

“I’m getting pulled over as, I can’t text as I’m getting pulled over,” one driver said.

Those red and blue flashing lights in our rearview mirror spiking our blood pressure and increasing our heart rates.

”You know why you’re being stopped?” one Castle Hills police officer said to a driver he stopped. Her reply, “No.”

Maybe those infamous lyrics from Inner Circle start playing in your ears,”Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”

But today in Castle Hills, it was a different experience.

“Oh, you weren’t doing anything wrong. We want to reward good driving and make your Thanksgiving a little bit better,” an officer said to a driver they stopped.

Instead of being on the receiving end, officers were the ones giving drivers the bird--a turkey!

“It’s just our way, maybe trying to, you know, put some cheer in the in the holidays,” Police Chief Esteban Zuniga said.

Castle Hills Mayor JR Trevino came up with the idea.

“This time of the year, everybody has something going on, they’re recovering from COVID, the winter weather storm. And this is an opportunity for us to do something for the community,” Mayor Trevino said.

He partnered with a local business, True Flavors Catering, to purchase 20 turkeys to bless safe drivers.

“Surprise you’re not getting a ticket, you’re getting a turkey,” Denise Hernandez with True Flavors Catering said.

“I think that’s a good kind of shocking, right?” Trevino added.

When Trevino ran the idea by Chief Zuniga, it was an easy yes.

“Now we’re just out here, you know, doing, you know, presenting you with a turkey for making a, you know, a proper stop or not speeding,” Zuniga said.

For the drivers who were stopped, once the shock wore off, they were giving their thanks.

“I think it’s wonderful less for us to have to buy and more to share,” Denise Shelley Livingston, one of the drivers stopped, said.

This is the first year Castle Hills has given out turkeys instead of tickets, but the mayor and police department called it a gobbling success.

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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