Deer breaks into elementary school, leads police on chase

Deer breaks into elementary school, leads police on chase


Officers conducted a foot chase with four-legged trespasser

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TOMS RIVER, NJ (AP) — A New Jersey elementary school had an unexpected visitor over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend: A deer jumped through a small window and knocked over items in a classroom before fleeing the building.

A man walking his dog around 10 p.m. on Nov. 25 saw the young deer smash through a window at Cedar Grove Elementary School in Toms River, which is about 60 miles east (96.5 kilometers) of Philadelphia.

The man notified police, and their subsequent search of the school was recorded by the officers’ bodycams.

When officers encountered the deer in a stairwell, the animal — who police have nicknamed “Rudolph” — initially charged at them as it ran down a hallway. It then entered a classroom by opening a door that happened to be unlatched and jumped onto a bookshelf, scattering some items — but it didn’t cause any major damage.

The officers eventually used a dog snare to get the deer out of the classroom, and it soon fled the building the same way it got in. Authorities said the animal didn’t appear to be seriously injured.

School staffers boarded up the window and cleaned up after the deer’s escape.


The Toms River Police Department shared video on Instagram showing officers conducing a foot chase with the four-legged trespasser inside Cedar Grove Elementary School.

"Officers opened the rear door and guided their new furry friend to the exit," police wrote. "The deer was last seen headed north."