Dewey police wrestle renegade doe

Deer released to Delaware Seashore State Park with minor cuts
Dewey Beach police carry a doe from a Saulsbury Street home, where it broke in through a window. SOURCE SUBMITTED
May 15, 2013

Homeowners on Saulsbury Street had an unexpected visitor April 28.

A resident phoned police saying he heard a crash in the house next door, and he went to investigate.  The neighbor said he noticed a first-floor window had been broken, and there was blood on the window frame.  The neighbor said he then heard crashing in the rear of the residence.

Dewey Beach Police Sgt. Cliff Dempsey said when he and three other police officers arrived at the ocean-block home, they found a deer had jumped through the window of the unoccupied residence.

“Sure enough, here’s this 80-pound doe running around the inside of this house,” Dempsey said.  “It was running into walls; it was really hurting itself.”

A large number of people had gathered to watch the spectacle, Dempsey said, and releasing the animal into the street was not an option.

Police decided they would corner the doe and tackle it, Dempsey said.  “Our plan was to taze it,” he said.  “We missed.”

Dempsey said the attempt to taze the doe spooked it, and it ran full-speed into a sliding glass door.  “It knocked it out a bit,” he said.

It also gave the police enough time to approach the woozy deer, hog-tie it, and wrap it in a tarp, Dempsey said.

The deer was carried to a patrol vehicle and taken to Delaware Seashore State Park, where it was released without incident, he said.

Dempsey said no officers were injured, and the deer only suffered minor cuts from the glass.

It was a unique experience for the longtime Dewey Beach police officer.  “That was the first time I ever wrestled a deer,” Dempsey said.

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