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Oh, deer: Local critter rampages through Bikes to You in downtown Grinnell

A deer broke through Grinnell’s local bike shop, Bikes To You, located at 917 Broad St., late on the night of Saturday, Oct. 14. Based on security footage from the store, the deer broke through the south side window at 10:30 p.m. and crashed into the wall of the store’s open dressing room. 

The deer then backed out of the dressing room and ran through the bike repair room, knocking over at least 10 bikes, before running through the wall between the front and back rooms of the store. The deer then ran back through the front room and escaped through the glass door. 

Craig Cooper, owner of Bikes To You, said he received a call from police dispatch the night of the incident. Cooper said that Matthew Moore, the officer at the scene, saw the deer running down Broad Street during his nightly patrol and then witnessed the deer break through the glass of the bike shop. Living only a few blocks away, Cooper came immediately after the phone call and was informed by Moore that the deer was no longer in the shop. 

Once at the shop, Cooper said, “I just unlocked the door and kind of tiptoed around the glass trying to figure out what happened.” 

From broken glass on the floor and the store’s security camera footage, Cooper was able to map out the path of the deer.

“Fortunately, it somehow saw the layout and it ran directly from the back of the store to the front of the store –– right out the front door,” he said. 

Cooper said he could tell the deer must have been bleeding profusely and had run across the street after escaping from the store. He added that Moore saw the deer running down the alley between the post office and United Methodist Church on 5th Avenue. 

“It’s unfortunate for the deer, it’s unfortunate for us,” Cooper said. “Until I got down there and really looked at things, I was really thinking, ‘Oh, man, this could be bad.’” 

Cooper said he thinks the repairs will cost at least $2,500 for the broken windows. He estimates the costs will be even higher after accounting for the damage to the bikes and the two holes in each of the dressing room and back wall. 

The deer crashed through the first layer of the wall of the bike shop’s dressing room. (Zack Walsh)

Saturday’s accident was not the first time a deer has caused damage to a local business. Cooper mentioned a deer breaking into an insurance office in Grinnell around 10 years ago. In that instance, the damage was much worse. 

Cooper said he “sees deer quite regularly” in Grinnell. 

“You know, it’s just unfortunate, but it’s one of those things that does happen,” he said.


At his other work property, located south of the Mayflower Community, Cooper said he has seen multiple deer crossing the railroad tracks in the past three years. “I think it’s more common than we think.”

Ryan McGaffey, an employee at Bikes To You, said that he and Cooper were not sure of the deer’s fate after it escaped from the shop. They followed the deer’s trail of blood until it was no longer visible, ending near the Grinnell College Preschool Laboratory on Park Street. 

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About the Contributor
Claire Giannosa
Claire Giannosa, Staff Writer

Claire Giannosa is a second-year from New York City studying English and Anthropology at Grinnell. In her free time, she loves reading and writing fantasy books and going on sunset walks with friends. Besides studying, leading Creative Writing Club, and S&B work she can usually be found on Mac Field playing ultimate frisbee.

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