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Oh deer! Suffolk eatery hosts unexpected guest

A deer is cornered at the Harbor Crab

A deer is cornered at the Harbor Crab Co. restaurant in Patchogue where it was rescued by Suffolk County Emergency Services. One of the restaurant's co-owners said it looks like the deer smashed through a front window and was trying to smash through a rear window when it was caught. (Oct. 31, 2013) Credit: Frank Mills

Frank Mills was at home in Blue Point when he got a call reporting that the front window of his restaurant had been smashed.

Mills, co-owner of Harbor Crab Co. in Patchogue, immediately feared a robbery.

He raced to the Division Street restaurant early Thursday and saw that two of his employees had collared the intruder: a deer.

"This wasn't a tiny little thing," Mills said, noting that the workers had to wrestle the critter to the ground and tie it with an electrical cord.

Suffolk police and town animal control officers arrived minutes later. After making sure the deer wasn't hurt, it was released.

Mills said the deer had smashed through a front window and was trying to break through one in the rear when it was caught. In the meantime, the animal caused a few thousand dollars' worth of interior damage, including ripped upholstery, he said.

None of it is covered by insurance, but Mills said at least he has a good story to tell.

"A year ago, we had 5 feet of water in the place," he said, remembering superstorm Sandy. "I don't have a problem with the deer."

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