CALVERTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – An 83-year-old has been hospitalized with a fractured hip and other injuries after being attacked by a deer.
In the side yard of his Calverton home, John Reeve was reportedly jumped by a 3-point buck state environmental conservation officers say may be responsible for the unprovoked attack.
“I ran up to him because he was waving his hands and saw the deer on top of him,” Michael Koke said.
Shouts for help were heard by welder Thomas Zapasek, who grabbed a metal pipe and went to help.
“I’m taking the pipe and waving it,” Zapasek said.
Meantime their vulnerable neighbor was being butted and chewed on. The buck even lost part of his antler in the attack.
“On his head the one antler is cut off, it’s broken like maybe six inches with no points,” Zapasek described.
“I was too nervous to move him but I didn’t want the deer to do further damage… He was certainly attacking him, he was on top of him,” Koke added.
“I look over and here’s this deer taking his hoof going like this… going to charge at us,” Zapasek said.
Even after the 911 call went out, the deer wouldn’t budge until scared off by the ambulance’s siren.
“We haven’t seen deer attack people out here before,” Mary Jo Stark of Peconic Bay Medical Center said. “But it’s mating season and they are looking for food and more comfortable with people.”
The DEC says deer that have been fed by humans can lose their fear of people; altering their behavior and creating potentially dangerous human-deer interactions.
“I turn around and here comes the deer after me,” Zapasek told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
“The deer starting chasing me around my car,” Koke added.
John Reeve is getting a hip replacement, not doing too great now unfortunately but hopefully he’ll be better soon.
“Ya gotta respect them like a bear… If someone came after your babies you’d fight’em off too,” Zapasek warned.
Experts say stay clear of all wild animals.
A hunter in Arkansas died Thursday after a deer he thought had been fatally shot rose up and attacked him. The hunter suffered multiple puncture wounds.