Deer breaks into County Extension Office

Published 3:11 pm Monday, December 21, 2009

A deer crashed through a window of the Chilton County Extension Office on Monday morning, resulting in a mini-standoff with police officers.

The animal burst through a window about 9:30 a.m. A customer at nearby Clanton Cleaners witnessed the incident and called 911.

The buck tried unsuccessfully to escape by ramming the glass front door.

Authorities had trouble getting into the building, which is closed this week and next for Christmas and New Year’s.

Police ended up breaking out the front door, finishing the job the deer had started. The spooked animal ran, barricading itself in the aptly named Clover Room and somehow closing the door.

Jemison Animal Control Officer Bobby Tucker found the animal and was able to shoot it with a tranquilizer gun.

“They go crazy this time of year,” said Keith Maddox, a detective with the Clanton Police Department. “It’s just a good thing they weren’t open today.”

After the deer succumbed to the drugs, it was tied up and carried to the parking lot.

Clanton Animal Control Officer Chris Whittle, who was supposed to have the day off, soon arrived and loaded the deer in his truck.

The story does have a happy ending – the deer’s injuries weren’t that severe. Whittle was expected to release the animal back into the woods later Monday – somewhere outside the city.

“It looks bad, but it’s not,” Tucker said. “The way he was walking around in there, he’ll be fine.”

County Extension Coordinator Gay West said she was at home addressing Christmas cards when she got a call from Police Chief Brian Stilwell.

All told, she said the situation could have been a lot worse.

“Nobody was hurt, thankfully,” West said. “We can sweep that up, pick that glass up and get back to work.”

The extension office is located on the corner of First Avenue North and Fifth Street South in downtown Clanton.

The incident follows a similar break-in at the empty Corner Fair store on Nov. 5. That morning, a deer crashed through the storefront. Tucker tranquilized that animal too before releasing it back into the wild.