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Deer breaks into South Dakota apartment

MITCHELL, S.D. — Mitchell police responded to a most unusual breaking-and-entering call Tuesday.

The offender was a deer.

The disoriented buck entered a Countryside Living apartment late Tuesday afternoon by using a hoof to unlatch the lever handle on a patio door, said Mitchell police Sgt. Dave Beintema.

Earlier in the day, Mitchell police were called to a car-deer accident on the state Highway 37 bypass near Countryside Living, a retirement facility. The collision with the deer, suspected to be the same deer that later entered the apartment, caused $3,500 to $4,500 in damage to a 2008 Chevy Uplander. The driver was not injured, and the deer ran off before police arrived.

Around 4:45 p.m., police were again called to that area because an injured deer was standing by a window of a Countryside Living apartment.

“For lack of a better term, it started freaking out,” Beintema said. “It ran up to a lady’s patio, rammed into that door and got into the apartment.”

The 2x2 buck was pawing at the door, Beintema said, and managed to unlatch the lever door handle. It entered the apartment where a woman was sitting at her kitchen table, he said.

Beintema said police had arrived in time to get the woman to a safe part of the apartment. He said the deer went into the bathroom and caused minor damage. It also entered the master bedroom, where it rammed into the window several times while trying to get out, but caused no major damage. The deer was bleeding from the morning accident and left quite a bit of blood in the apartment, Beintema said.

Police kept the patio door open and the deer eventually went back outside, but not before it ran near Officer Pat Marler.

“The deer ran back into town, so I’m sure we’ll get another call on it,” Beintema said.

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