Ely man admits crashing truck into 3 deer on purpose
The driver was issued a $300 citation for the misdemeanor, plus $1,500 restitution.
ELY — A 20-year-old man has admitted that he used his truck to intentionally hit three deer while driving within the city limits last week.
The incident occurred March 21 “in broad daylight right on Highway 21 by the golf course,” said Minnesota conservation officer Anthony Bermel.
Bermel said all three deer were paralyzed but still alive and had to be euthanized by an Ely police officer.
Within 24 hours, Bermel and others began receiving tips on who the driver may have been. Bermel, joined by a St. Louis County sheriff's deputy and an Ely police officer, interviewed the driver, Casey Meadows, at his residence, and he admitted he hit the deer on purpose.
“There was never any good explanation of why. It doesn’t make much sense to me,” Bermel told the News Tribune. “It’s a 30 mph zone. … He had to speed up to hit them all, single file.”
Bermel said the driver had a heavy-duty bumper guard on his truck, which sustained no damage in the incident.
Bermel issued Meadows a citation for chasing or injuring wildlife by use of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor with a $300 penalty, and also issued state restitution orders for $500 for each deer, for a total penalty of $1,800.
Meadows can either pay the ticket and restitution or challenge them in court. Court records show Meadows paid citations for having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle in 2021 and for not having a current sticker on his snowmobile earlier this year.
Bermel said the deer incident has caused a stir on social media in the Ely area, with some people suggesting officers should issue more severe charges. But Bermel said Minnesota statutes are limited in this case, noting there is no provision for this crime for the state to take away Meadow’s hunting or fishing privileges.
“It’s not really a hunting situation,” Bermel said. “This is what we feel was the best statute we had to charge him with.”