Oh deer! ADA alerts York Area police to trooper's bloody bumper

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
State police Cpl. Brian Torkar - an avid hunter - caused concern on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, when a county prosecutor driving behind him noticed blood drips and smears on the tailgate of the white SUV in front of her. She alerted York Area Regional Police immediately, police said.

It was two nights before Halloween when a York County prosecutor noticed something unsettling about the SUV in front of her vehicle — blood drips and smears on the all-white rear bumper.

Halloween trick or crime in progress? Who could tell?

The prosecutor took a photo of the back of the SUV and immediately sent it to York Area Regional Police detectives, York Area Regional Lt. Tobin Zech confirmed.

Detectives wasted no time in running the SUV's license plate, which came back to someone they know well, Zech said.

"I got a phone call from a detective with York Area Regional who asked me if I got a deer," state police Cpl. Brian Torkar said. "As soon as they ran the tag, they knew it was me. And I'm an avid hunter."

A state trooper unwittingly gave a York prosecutor a bit of a Halloween scare on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019 when she spotted blood drips on the back of his white SUV. She alerted police, who determined the blood came from a deer the trooper killed.

Torkar had indeed bagged a deer on Tuesday, Oct. 29 — an eight-point buck he was driving home after field-dressing it, he said. That means removing the internal organs so as to not contaminate the venison.

"(Detectives) sent me a picture of my vehicle with blood on the back," Torkar said.

In return, the trooper quickly texted detectives photos of the deer in the back of his SUV to prove he wasn't up to something nefarious, Zech confirmed.

Pennsylvania's general statewide archery season this year runs from Oct. 5 to Nov. 16, and from Dec. 26 to Jan. 20, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Did the right thing: The lieutenant said the prosecutor did the right thing by alerting police right away. He said people should never feel sheepish about reporting suspicious activity to 911.

"I suppose to the normal person, a bloody Mercedes would cause them to raise an eyebrow," Torkar said. "I would say it's certainly suspicious."

State police Cpl. Brian Torkar, drug recognition expert and outdoors enthusiast.

The corporal has a pickup truck he's used in the past to haul game but said it's easier to load things into the cargo area of his SUV.

"That's my hunting buggy," said Torkar, an outdoors enthusiast who hunts and fishes. He said he eats the game he kills.

The prosecutor who alerted police declined comment, said York County District Attorney's Office spokesman Kyle King. He did not identify her by name.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.