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New GRPD officer describes experience rescuing deer | News

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New GRPD officer describes experience rescuing deer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Five months on the job, and a new Grand Rapids police officer has arrested criminals, ticketed speeders, controlled crowds -- and, now, rescued a deer trapped inside the fence of a baseball field. Because it was caught on video, it's the deer rescue that's getting all the attention.

He got himself in, but the young buck was unable to find an opening in the fence to get out of the baseball field.

When Officer Ryan Bruggink got there, the deer was frantically running around the field. Finally, the deer got tired enough to lie down, and Officer Bruggink picked him up and carried him to the woods.

"You could sort of relate it to a toddler giving you problems -- it was kind of squirmy," Officer Bruggink says of the young animal. "Basically, I just walked up to it and picked it up."

He says he used a bear hug to hold onto the buck, letting it go in the woods. It hasn't been seen since being rescued at the Plaster Creek park.

When Officer Bruggink and his partner were dispatched to the baseball diamond, he says they saw the deer running around, trying to get out.

"Its face was bloody from running into the fence multiple times while we were there and previously. Its left leg was skinned up; the bone was showing," the officer said.

At first, they tried to shoo it out through openings in the fencing, but "it just wouldn't go that way."

"After circling the field several times, banging into the fence, looking for a way out, the deer -- wounded and weary -- came down the third base line one last time and slid to a stop at home plate," Officer Bruggink said. The deer ran around the field three or for times while he and his partner were there.

He said picking it up, carrying it out, and setting it free was much better than having to shoot the deer and remove its carcass.

"It was opening day of bow season, and that will be someone's food at some point, possibly," the officer said.

Officer Bruggink says he is an avid hunter, and for sportsmen, he says one of the first rules of the woods is never let an animal suffer.