Deer crashes into Castro Valley home

January 19, 2011 5:30:19 PM PST
John and Loretta Starkweather were startled by thumping and crashing sounds Monday afternoon when a deer made a dramatic entrance into their home in unincorporated Alameda County near Castro Valley.

The Starkweathers were upstairs after having a late breakfast at their home on Camino Alta Mira when a doe came crashing through a 3-foot-by-4-foot window at around noon, John Starkweather said. Loretta Starkweather went downstairs, saw the deer and headed back up to tell her husband.

"It jumped right through the window," John Starkweather said.

He said the roughly 90-pound deer slid across a table, knocking over butter and sugar that had been left out from breakfast.

The deer had apparently been eating apples from the ground beneath a neighbor's apple tree, and ended up in the Starkweathers' yard after being shooed away.

John Starkweather, a 76-year-old retired painter and contractor, said the deer must have seen a reflection of the yard in the window and charged toward it.

"The deer saw what looked like another yard," he said. "Undoubtedly, it was very surprised when it ended up inside my house."

Starkweather threw a pillow at the deer as it ran through into the family room, the dinette and into the pantry.

He grabbed his camera and opened the front door and snapped a couple of pictures.

The deer knocked over a lamp, which crashed to the floor and broke.

In a panic, the deer attempted to get out through a closed sliding glass door. The deer slammed into the door numerous times, leaving a small amount of blood on the glass and the drapes.

It eventually found its way out of the home.

When the deer made its exit, the Starkweathers were left with a mess, including a busted window, butter and sugar on the floor and a broken lamp.

"It only cost us a couple hundred dollars," Starkweather said.

He said he's glad the deer made it out safely.

"I wanted the deer out of my house and I did what I had to do to get it out," he said.

In the 43 years the Starkweathers have lived there, they have also encountered raccoons, possums and skunks.