Deer crashes through window, trashes apartment in Rogersville

Jeff Bobo • Apr 25, 2007 at 11:39 AM

ROGERSVILLE - Police aren't looking for a suspect who broke through an elderly Rogersville woman's bedroom window Wednesday morning and trashed her apartment.

But the suspect's wanted poster can likely be seen at any outdoor sporting goods store.

Madge Webster, 79, said Wednesday that "by the grace of God" she was sleeping on her couch Wednesday shortly before 1 a.m. when a deer crashed through her bedroom window, landing on her bed.

There's no telling how badly Webster might have been injured had she been under the covers as the hooves stomped across her bed.

The sound of breaking glass startled Webster awake at her apartment at 970 Woodlawn Ave.

At first she thought it might have been her grandson, who smokes outside. But the intruder's identity became apparent when an adult deer stormed through her bedroom door, bouncing off of walls and furniture into the kitchen and dining room area.

"It was just the Lord's will because it came through my bedroom window, across my bed, and I'm glad I wasn't in it," Webster told the Times-News. "I looked up and saw this thing, and I didn't know what in the world it was. I said, ‘Oh dear God what is that?' and I jumped up right quick.

"It was climbing the walls. There's hair all over the walls. It got up on the tables. All my collectibles were destroyed. I just happened to go open the door, and when I did it ran out through the storm door."

Webster said it appeared to be a full-grown doe. It was a powerful animal, she said.

She can't say for sure how long it was in her apartment, but she said it felt like 15 minutes.

Her apartment building is on a street that borders the back side of Rogersville Middle School. It's on the southern edge of the Rogersville city limits near a wooded area and hillside.

A neighbor heard the commotion and thought a car had crashed into the building. The neighbor was coming to see what was wrong as the deer flew through the storm door.

"She said when she looked out her little dog got out and it ran after the deer, and there was five more deer standing on the bank," Webster said. "I don't know what happened, but there was a herd of them up there, and this one decided to come pay me a visit. It scared me to death.

"My daughter said at least my instincts took over (to open the door). I said ‘No, God took over.'"

Among items damaged or destroyed were the bedroom window, screen and blinds; a large number of knickknacks and collectibles that she has been gathering her whole life; the metal storm door; sheet rock walls; and her plants. Webster said that after the deer busted her flower pots it stomped the dirt into her carpet.

Her apartment company came in Wednesday, installed a temporary window and conducted a preliminary cleanup. She said the company will also be shampooing the carpet and painting her walls as well.

Rogersville police responded to the scene a short time after the incident, but by then all the deer were gone. Rogersville Police Department Detective Jim Shanks said he's never heard of a deer doing something like this.

"We've been trying to figure this one out all day," Shanks said. "One guy said it might have been chased into the window. Only the deer knows for sure what it was thinking.

"I'm sure the deer was as scared, if not more scared, than Mrs. Webster. With a scared wild animal like that in her house she really could have been hurt if she hadn't opened the door when she did."

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