Man thwarts Manchester deer's dash for dairy dept.
Customers at the Manchester-area Giant Food Store watched in stunned amazement Monday night as a deer crashed through the front glass doors of the grocery and ran past them.
They continued to watch as a man wasted no time chasing after the deer, according to eyewitness Melissa Sands.
Sands was at a checkout counter about 9:10 p.m. when the craziness started, she said.
"I was cashing out and I heard a lot of commotion and people yelling," she said. "I heard someone say, 'There's a deer in the store!' The next thing you know, the deer came running by the cash registers ... and turned and went down toward the dairy section."
Sands, 41, of Mount Wolf, said she was so stunned she didn't think to take photos.
But another customer in the store was thinking on his feet, and he gave chase, she said.
"He didn't think twice ... he was after that deer," Sands said. "He ran fast and caught up to it and tried to grab it."
It appeared he first tried to grab the deer by the scruff of its neck, then modified his capture plan and wrapped his arms around its neck, she said.
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ WHAT THE DEER-WRANGLER HAD TO SAY:
"He turned it around and tried to get it to the front door," Sands said, but the deer's hooves kept slipping on the floor. "The deer was falling, he was falling. ... Finally a couple guys came to help."
Carried out: The men put some type of cloth over the deer's eyes — perhaps a shirt — and helped the original good Samaritan carry the deer outside, according to Sands.
The whole thing was over in a matter of minutes, she said.
And in true York County fashion, the jokes soon followed.
Sands said one customer quipped that the deer must have heard about Wednesday night's snowstorm and ran in to buy bread and milk.
The front glass doors being smashed was the only damage to the store, and no one was hurt, according to Samantha Krepps, spokeswoman for Giant Food Stores/Martin's Food Markets.
Northeastern Regional Police officers were called to the scene, but the white-tailed deer was long gone, Chief Bryan Rizzo said.
"There were three deer altogether," he said. "One deer ran into the window of Smoker's Outlet, but there was no damage. Another deer ran toward the field there, and the third ran through the main (Giant) entrance door, which shattered."
Deer 'looked fine': Rizzo said officers spotted no blood at the scene, and Sands said the same thing, so everyone involved believes the deer escaped unscathed.
"It looked fine to me," Sands said, adding she thinks it was a doe.
The man who gave chase and grabbed the deer in the dairy department was undoubtedly brave to take action, she said.
Rizzo called him quick-thinking but said he's not encouraging anyone to take the same action.
"I wouldn't recommend it," he said. "A deer can injure you."
Brave guy ID'd: The good Samaritan who chased the deer and wrestled it back outside to freedom is Robert Beck III, according to his wife, Tonya Beck, who provided The York Dispatch with the photo of Beck and the deer. Also confirming his identity was Ruth Beck, who described herself as "his proud grandmother."
Ruth Beck said she hasn't yet had a chance to speak with her grandson about his heroics, but wasn't surprised he took action.
"He's a hunter," she said, and has hunted all his life. "My brother taught those kids how to hunt and fish."
Sands said as she left Giant on Monday night, she heard a fellow customer telling his kids what had just transpired.
"They didn't believe him," she said. "So I backed him up."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.