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A deer ran through a window at Decatur High School on Wednesday. It was later found in the Park Place subdivision on Point Mallard Drive Southeast.
Daily photo by Gary Lloyd
A deer ran through a window at Decatur High School on Wednesday. It was later found in the Park Place subdivision on Point Mallard Drive Southeast.

Deer crashes into Decatur High window

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com 340-2432

A rampaging doe interrupted Joe Hovater's morning Wednesday, but the Decatur High School custodian calmly let the scared animal out to short-lived freedom.

Principal Mike Ward said he received a radio call just after 11:30 that a deer had run across the football practice field and into the courtyard at the center of school. He investigated, and while he didn't see the deer, several football players said it had not left the area.

Then he heard a crash.

A surveillance video shows the deer running through the bottom window beside a door to the science building. Seconds before that, video shows two students in the hallway, but both turned away from the door and never knew the deer was inside.

That was the closest any of the students got to the frightened deer.

Ward said people in the south office closed the door before the deer entered. Hovater was in a custodian's office next to the damaged window and went to investigate. He saw the deer run into the office door and hit a crash bar to get into the foyer between the double doors at the main south exit.

Hovater said he considered grabbing the doe, but decided its size, about 130 pounds, and hooves might be dangerous. He saw his opportunity when the doe got into the foyer.

"I was trying to figure out what to do, so I just watched it," Hovater said. "A wild animal like that is usually just scared and wants its freedom."

Escaped through door

In the video, Hovater calmly walks through the foyer and opens the outside door to free the doe.

Unfortunately, the story does not end well for the DHS deer.

Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman, said the confused animal appeared to have a broken jaw and numerous cuts from the broken glass and was bleeding heavily.

Officers followed the deer to a field in the area of Eighth Street Southeast and 19th Avenue and called in an Alabama Game and Fish officer.

"A wildlife officer came out, and to prevent the deer from suffering any further, shot the deer," Mathews said.

Animal control officers collected the doe's remains.

Staff writer Seth Burkett contributed to this report.

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