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Posted at 10:57 AM ET, 12/21/2010

Md. officials defend deer fine

By Washington Post editors

Officials at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are defending their decision to levy a fine against two men who rescued a deer from the Patapsco River, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The men were each fined $90 for not having life vests aboard the inflatable boat they used to reach the trapped deer last Thursday.

Col. George Johnson said in a statement that the men disregarded the orders of numerous public safety officers at the scene by entering the water and not turning back when ordered to do so. Johnson said the result could have been a human emergency that could have put more lives in danger.

The men, Jim Hart, 46, of Carroll County and Khalil Abusakran, 33, of Baltimore County said they will fight the fines when the matter is in court in February.

Read more about the men who rescued the deer and were later fined in the Baltimore Sun.

By Washington Post editors  | December 21, 2010; 10:57 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Maryland  
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It's a tough call, but I agree with the state. These guys created a significant safety issue in a misguided Good Samaritan move.

Deer die, every day. Circle of Life stuff, and our intervention matters not a whit.

Posted by: krickey7 | December 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I really can't agree with this. We as a culture, need to start being a little more Darwin. If they refused to obey warnings, then whatever happened is at their own risk.

I am actually more suprised however, that the state could only fine them $90 dollars for a lack of life vests? Really, get some brass and make them pay for the services the safety officers had to respond for.

Posted by: duckie86 | December 21, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

How rediculous, they guys were just trying to do a good deed, no harm no foul. As to paying for the serviceds the safety officers responded for?!? The dumb officials were too busy debating whether they should save the deer or not. In the mean time the thing would've drowned. Have some compassion people. Circle of life? Bad comparison I know but, had it been a person in danger would the guys still have been fined? MD need to stop being such a police state, they guys were adults and new the risk.

Posted by: aphclr | December 21, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

The fine is disgusting. Save it for some drunken powerboaters. I deal with state wildlife agencies all of the time and I have to say that MD DNR is earning its reputation among its peers as being one of the very worst. It suffers from some weird anti-wildlife ideology that brings it repeated embarrassment.

What really happened is that the DNR officers got showed up in front of the crowd by the good samaritans and went looking for excuses to punish them. The Sun article said the boater DID have life vests on the craft, and offered to show them to the officers, who slapped him with the ticket without coming over the boat to check. The rescuers are heroes. I hope they countersue for malicious prosecution.

Posted by: VirginiaDad | December 21, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that is a bad comparison. Had it been a person in danger, the fire department and police would have been in the water. That's the whole point! By these guys disregarding orders and going in the water, they could have put a lot of more human lives in danger. Don't risk a lot to save a little.

Posted by: meme7 | December 21, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

A couple points:
1. The DNR officer is an idiot and should be stripped of his badge. These guys had life vests and offered to show them to him. But, he was on a power trip and decided to write a ticket anyway. It reminds me of the old southern redneck cop that breaks your light with his nightstick and then writes a ticket for a broken nightstick - except here, the DNR officer didn't even brake the light, he just wrote the ticket.

2. If these guys want to go out in the water, that is their right. The DNR officer does not have the power or right to tell these people they can't go out there. It is despicable when officers think they have the power to baby people.

3. It obviously wasn't very dangerous out there - despite whatever garbage the DNR officer says. These guys didn't even get a scratch. Just because the DNR officer is a baby, doesn't give him the right to treat others like they are babies.

4. The guys should have let the deer die. We have too many in this region, and odds are that a deer that stupid will soon wander into traffic, cause an accident, and actually hurt someone or damage their car.

Posted by: Cznzy | December 21, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

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