So one evening, I’m just driving along on patrol on a rural back road, minding my own business of course, when this stupid deer bolts out in front of me.
I brake, I swerve…I still hit it and send it tumbling into the ditch.
I get out look at my cruiser. The left front headlight is shattered and the whole headlight bucket area is dished in. Fantastic. Now I get to do an accident report. I hate accident reports with a passion, even ones that don’t involve my own personal data.
Next I walk up to the deer. It’s laying there looking at me, making no effort to get up. I figure it must be hurt pretty bad if it won’t even try to run away.
I key up my radio, call in the “10-50 involved”, which indicates that there’s been a collision and I’m part of it, then notify our dispatcher that I’m going to be shooting an injured deer.
Almost like it understood, the deer looks at me as if to say “shoot who?!” and then it stands up and runs off into the woods.
For a few seconds, I’m happy for the deer. But then it dawns on me that without the deer, it’s just me and a busted patrol car and no way for me to prove what just happened.
“Come back!” I yell into the woods after the deer. But alas, the deer is not willing to cooperate.
A few minutes later, my sergeant shows up. He’s rightly skeptical of my claim that the damage was caused by a deer that’s not even here, but fortunately, there was a bit of deer fur and blood on the car at the impact point, so he believed my story.
My squad-mates were another matter, however. It was several days before I stopped hearing references to “the alleged deer” in the locker room and at roll call.
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