locally owned since 1854

Deer runs roughshod through Lower Swatara Township home, leaving a bloody trail

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 9/13/17

 

An apparently wayward deer ran roughshod through a townhouse on Lakeside Drive in Lower Swatara Township, causing an undisclosed amount of damage, township police say.

Police on Sept. 3 …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Deer runs roughshod through Lower Swatara Township home, leaving a bloody trail

Posted

An apparently wayward deer ran roughshod through a townhouse on Lakeside Drive in Lower Swatara Township, causing an undisclosed amount of damage, township police say.

Police on Sept. 3 responded to a report of a suspected burglary at the residence. The upper right panel of the front door had been knocked out, although the front door was still dead-bolt locked when police arrived.

A large living room window had also been smashed from the inside out, with a large amount of blood on the window sill. A table in the living room and chairs in the dining room had been knocked over.

However, the homeowner told police that nothing had been taken from inside the residence.

The case took a further turn toward the bizarre when police found a bloody foot print with a distinct line down the center, and pieces of hair at the exit and entry points that did not appear to come from a human, township Detective Robert Appleby told the Press & Journal.

Police the next day examined the hair samples under a microscope and after comparing them to microscopic images of deer hair concluded that the hair had come from a deer.

A State Police laboratory tech confirmed that conclusion informally by telephone, but told police it would take “at least a year” for the samples to be analyzed by a state police lab.

Moreover, “it does not make any logical sense that this was done by a human,” based on the analysis of the crime scene by township police. 

Incidents involving damage to a house by wildlife typically occur in somewhat isolated areas.

The townhouse is in the middle of a built-up suburban neighborhood. However, there is a reservoir behind the townhouse where animals are known to go and drink water, Appleby said.

Police have not provided an estimate of damage. The good news is the incident should be covered, assuming the owners have a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

One local insurance agent who asked not to be identified said that damage to a residence caused by wildlife like deer or a bear is typically covered. Damage is not covered if caused by vermin such as rats, rodents or squirrels; or if the damage is caused by a domestic animal — your pet, in other words.

This was affirmed by Marguerite Seidel, a spokeswoman for the American Insurance Association, who said “the typical homeowners insurance policy would cover property damage (from wildlife) unless it is specifically excluded under the policy.”

The case has been cleared and no crime was committed, Appleby said.

But it goes down as “one of the craziest things I’ve seen in my entire career,” said Appleby, who has been a detective with the department for over 12 years. 

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment