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DEER INVADES WEST SIDE BUSINESS

Bambi

Kim Sambucci was sitting at her desk at Golf Greens Fore U on Shrewsbury Avenue late last Friday afternoon when she heard “an explosion, like a car crashing into the building.”

But it wasn’t a car Sambucci saw when she looked up. It was a deer. And there it was, just 10 or 15 feet away, inside the store, scuttling around amid the broken glass from the metal-framed door it had busted through after crossing one of the busiest streets in Red Bank.

“She was huge,” says Sambucci. “She had to weigh 300 pounds.”

Golf Greens Fore U designs and installs custom putting greens at homes and driving ranges, and its workspace is a large, open area with a desk in each of four corners and a large putting green in the center of the floor.

There’s also a lavatory off to one side, and that’s where the terrified animal headed and briefly hid out.

Sambucci called the police, and then, with her co-workers, headed out to the street to wait. They were afraid, she said, because the deer was so large, obviously panicked, and bleeding, apparently from the collision with the door.

After about five minutes, the deer emerged from the bathroom and headed to Sambucci’s desk, which overlooks the street. “She had her hooves up on my desk looking for a way out, and I really though she was going to go through the window,” says Sambucci.

Instead, the deer struggled to turn around in the tight space behind the desk, smearing the wall with blood. Then, after a stay of about 10 minutes, “she bolted out the front door across Shrewsbury Avenue, almost getting hit by a white van,” says Sambucci.

The deer was last seen heading west on Locust Avenue.

No one knows where the deer came from, though the Navesink River isn’t far away at that point. But with all the development that’s occurred over the years, “the poor animals have nowhere to go,” says Sambucci.

In fact, business owner Joe Alli thinks the disoriented deer might have been attracted to the artificial putting green.

The episode with the deer, though, turned out to be just one aspect of a remarkable Friday afternoon, says Alli. Almost immediately after the deer left, neighbors of the business rallied to help with the clean-up.

Unasked, workers from a construction company across the street installed plywood in the door frame. Some Hispanic women volunteered to help clean up the glass and blood that was “all over the place,” says Sambucci. All in all, about ten people lent a hand, says Alli.

“It was nice,” he says. “They were just being good neighbors. We got it all done in two or three hours.”

If the story of the wayward deer sounds familiar, well, five years ago, something similar happened a few blocks away.

On a Sunday morning, a deer invaded an office building on Monmouth Street. Scared off, and with police in pursuit, the animal then crashed through the plate glass window of Juanito’s Restaurant, where it thrashed about before leaping through another window and making a temporary escape.

Eventually, the badly injured deer was located and destroyed at the borough’s public works facility on Chestnut Street.

The Hub had a detailed story at the time.

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