Ledyard boy calls police asking for chocolate cake, officers deliver – theday.com

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Ledyard — On Thursday afternoon, 11-year-old Marcello Legg wanted cake. Chocolate cake. And he wanted it so badly, he decided to call the police and ask for their help.

Marcello, who is on the autism spectrum, had just completed his Applied Developmental Analysis therapy about 10 a.m. As a reward for doing so, he is allowed to use his mother’s cellphone to place a few calls — usually to his grandmother, grandfather and aunt.

But this time, unbeknownst to his parents, he dialed the police department’s nonemergency line.

On his first few calls, Marcello told the dispatcher that he wanted cake. Then, he got specific: chocolate cake. Then he tried convincing the dispatcher that it was his birthday.

Mark Legg, Marcello’s dad, said he and his wife, Anna, weren’t surprised to hear their son asking for chocolate cake. The boy had been asking for cake since the night before, when Mark Legg was browsing the Stop & Shop website for groceries and Marcello spotted a cake.

Marcello and his two younger brothers are being home-schooled and haven’t seen their friends due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which Mark Legg said spurred his son’s strong desire for cake. “He misses his friends at school and wanted to get a cake for them,” he said.

On the other end of the call, dispatcher Sandy Burns was asking Marcello if his parents were home, if he was safe and where he lived. Marcello eventually provided his address, hopeful that they’d bring him his cake.

Burns alerted Officers Ryan Foster and Noah Concascia of the calls and asked them to perform a welfare check on the boy. On their way to the Legg family’s home on Tanager Lane, they made a stop at the Village Market to buy a chocolate cake.

When the doorbell rang, Mark Legg wasn’t expecting company, and definitely wasn’t expecting to find the police at his door. At first, he thought maybe they were responding to a report the family had filed a few weeks earlier after two of the family’s bicycles, including Marcello’s, were stolen. But then he noticed the officers were holding a cake.

Legg said the officers asked if there was a boy named Marcello celebrating a birthday — Marcello was there, said Legg, but it wasn’t his birthday.

He called out to his son and let him know that the police were there and had brought him cake. Marcello ran to the door, quickly said thank you and ran away with the cake, his dad recalled, laughing.

Marcello and his two brothers, 8-year-old Lucas and 6-year-old Mario, devoured the cake by the end of the day. Mark and his wife didn’t even get to have a slice.

“Cake doesn’t last more than a day in this house,” Mark Legg said.

Foster said it was Concascia’s idea to bring the cake. Concascia has been with the department for about three months and is in the final stages of his field training.

“This is definitely not what I expected to be responding to, everyone thinks joining the police department you’re going to go fight crime, but a lot of it is just community outreach and helping the community in a lot of different ways,” the rookie officer said. “It was definitely a cool experience and one I’ll always remember.”

Marcello “kind of tricked them,” since it wasn’t actually his birthday, but Concascia said he was thrilled to see how happy the cake made the boy, who was jumping up and down after he got it.

The officer said he was happy to bring some joy to the family during the pandemic.

“I think everybody’s hopes are down, everybody is disappointed with the way things are going, so it was nice to bring some happiness to their day,” Concascia said. “I’m sure they want to be able to go outside and play, so we were happy to bring some excitement to them.”

Mark Legg said that his sons haven’t been happy about being stuck inside. The family normally goes to parks, the aquarium and the zoo often. The kids miss playing outside and going to school, he said.

Marcello “was gleaming with joy afterwards and it’s nice to know that we live in a town where they do these things and they’re so caring, especially right now,” Mark Legg said. “He’s extremely happy about it, he’s going around telling everybody about the cake. It leaves a good imprint in his mind and makes him trusting of police, it’s great.”

Ledyard Police Department Chief John Rich said he was proud of his officers for taking on the role of a cake delivery service for the boy.

“They went above and beyond the facts and circumstances of the situation and actually made the little guy’s day with their kindness,” Rich said. “And that’s what I’ve seen all throughout my time at Ledyard Police Department, their connectedness with the people.”

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