Deer crashes through downtown Culpeper restaurant

Grill 309 employees came face to face with a buck that crashed into one of their cocktail windows on Monday.

Grill 309 employees were surprised Monday morning when they came face to face with a deer.

"(I've been) in the service industry for 10 years," said General Manager Rachael Olenslager. "This is definitely the craziest thing that has ever happened to me."

Around 11 a.m., Olenslager and her staff had just unlocked the doors of the South Main Street restaurant when they heard a loud boom.

"I turn around and there's this deer staring straight into my eyes," she said. "For a second, I'm just in shock standing there looking at it."

The deer, she explained, was about 6 or 7 feet long with a missing antler. She wasn't sure if he broke it after hitting the window or if it was broken beforehand.

"He definitely wasn't a full grown buck, but he was big."

As they stood in disbelief, the deer began to run over tables and down one of the building's hallways.

Seeing an escape, the deer attempted to jump through another window, but was unsuccessful, further injuring himself.

"I really hope that deer is all right because he was pretty bloody from hitting that second window and not clearing it," Olenslager continued.

Olenslager called police who tried to keep her calm as the deer continued to run around the dining room before exiting the same window it originally broke through. The deer then ran down East Stevens Street toward the cemetery, she continued.

Officers on scene, Olenslager said, deduced the deer must have seen its own reflection and went to pursue what it perceived as another deer.

It took staff about two hours to clean up all of the glass, soil and blood, but we were able to open at 12:30 p.m. The cocktail area remains closed at this time.

maria@culpepertimes.com

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