DA to decide if charges will be pressed in Blount County deer attack

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — The Blount County District Attorney will decide if anyone will face charges after a woman was attacked by a white-tailed deer on November 5.

Ronald Harris says a deer who seriously injured a woman in Blount County would never hurt anyone / Source: (Ronald Harris)

As of November 15, the victim remained hospitalized.

A man who says the deer named Louis was a neighborhood pet told WVLT News that he, "doesn't feel bad for the victim because this deer would never harm anybody. She had to have provoked him."

Ronald Harris said," My granddaughter used to paint his toenails. You tell me: does that sound like a vicious animal?"

Harris said he did not wish to be identified as the deer's owner because he was more of a "neighborhood pet."

Harris said Louis' antlers were painted fluorescent orange and they put a reflective collar on him to let hunters know not to shoot him.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Beth Ann Palazzola of Tellico Plains was getting the mail outside her workplace, U.S. Tanx at 110 North Springview Drive, when the deer approached her from behind, knocked her to the ground, and began to gore her with its antlers.

Palazzola grabbed the deer's antlers to prevent it from continuing to gore her. That's when three unknown good Samaritans stepped in to stop the deer from dragging Palazzola. The good samaritans were able to separate her from the deer and help her to safety.

Palazzola was hospitalized with serious injuries after the attack.

Wildlife officers said they quickly found the deer and noticed it was wearing an orange collar and acting unnaturally tame.

The deer was tranquilized and euthanized. Investigators say they believe the deer had been raised by humans from a young age and was unnaturally humanized.

The white-tailed deer was a male, year and a half old, four-point weighing approximately 75 lbs.

According to TWRA, the same deer was accused of attacking an 11-year-old earlier in 2019. Officials said they decided to euthanize the deer because it showed aggressive behavior.

Investigators said they're confident that they know where the deer was being held.

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