Arrest made in death of popular deer

December 7, 2008 6:17:32 AM PST
Authorities have nabbed the man accused of decapitating a tame deer at a west Houston park. Investigators say the suspect wanted the animal's antlers.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The deer's death shocked animal lovers around Houston. Park Rangers found the deer, known as 'Mister Buck', dead at Bear Creek Park last month.

Precinct 5 investigators arrested 23-year-old Brandon Eugene Gregory. Doctors at the county hospital treated him for wounds he had on his upper thighs and buttocks. Authorities say those wounds were caused when Mr. Buck gored Gregory in an attempt to protect himself, which was likely the last thing the popular deer did, moments before he was killed.

"Oh, I think that's outstanding," said park visitor Kevin McDonald.

That's how many Bear Creek Park visitors reacted to the arrest authorities made in the killing of their long time friend.

"I bring my son and my grandkids out here almost every day, and for someone to do something like this was absolutely disgusting," said McDonald.

Texas Parks and Wildlife rangers say Gregory poached Mr. Buck, the longtime fixture of the park's white-tailed deer exhibit.

"One of the other witnesses had made the quote that 'I'd like to have those antlers,'", said Sgt. Johnny Longoria with the Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Several Crime Stoppers tips led authorities to Gregory's apartment. On the patio they allegedly found two does named in a Waller County poaching case and inside...

"Within his kitchen, there was a white chest freezer. Inside that freezer was where Mr. Buck's head and antler's were," said Longoria.

"I don't think they had any idea how people would come forward on this, and it's a crime against people," said Captain JJ Laine with the Precinct 5 Constable's Office.

Sergeant Longoria says the 23-year-old admitted with the help of two friends, he snuck into the deer exhibit and Mr. Buck used his antlers for protection.

"During the struggle and him getting stuck was when he pulled out one of his knives that we have seized and was able to stab Mr. Buck in the upper chest area," said Longoria.

Gregory's neighbors are shocked by the poaching allegation. They say they knew him as an avid hunter.

"I just thought he would be more like normal deer hunting stuff," said neighbor Robert Sanders. "He showed me where he went to Canada and shot a bear, in Colorado and shot an Elk."

Authorities call Gregory the poster child for poaching violations and it is the crime he is charged with. If convicted, he could receive two years in state jail. Some of the evidence collected included bolt cutters, a bone cutting saw and a knife.

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