A disoriented deer smashed its way into a Quakertown hair salon Tuesday, and a customer wrestled with the animal to keep it from ramming into his 11-year-old son or other youngsters.
"I'm a father. I wasn't going to let anything happen to those kids," Randy Goepfert said after Tuesday's confrontation.
Three hairdressers and several parents and children were in the Holiday Hair salon at a strip mall in the Bucks County community when the white-tail buck crashed through the glass door.
The deer "was charging right at my son, so I decked him," Goepfert said. He grabbed the buck by the neck and slammed it to the floor, then climbed on top and began choking it, hoping to keep the animal at bay until authorities arrived.
But the deer broke loose. Goepfert finally chased it into a back room and barricaded the door with chairs.
Police and a state Game Commission officer later tranquilized the deer, but it had a broken jaw and cuts on its neck and had to be euthanized, officials said.
Glen Campbell, a wildlife conservation officer, said the deer was likely frightened and disoriented.
"They have a very, very primeval flight response," Campbell said. "If they get scared, they don't think, they just try to get away."
Goepfert recalled that the deer kicked him several times and broke loose as they wrestled on the floor. "I weigh 225 pounds and he threw me right off," he said.