Man accused of killing family's pet deer

A teenager accused of killing Bambi, a Bloomingdale family’s pet deer, was arrested this morning on misdemeanor firearms charges.

 

Vincent Helmly Jr., 19, of Savannah, was booked into the Chatham County jail at 9 a.m., charged with discharging a gun near a public street and discharging a firearm on another person’s property. He later was released on $1,300 bond.

Early Friday afternoon, police say, Helmly fatally shot the doe as it roamed in the Wallace Circle neighborhood, then loaded it in his truck bed and drove off.

A neighbor reported the licence plate number, according to police documents.

“Our main concern was the danger posed to the community, going in a subdivision and shooting guns like that,” Bloomingdale Police Chief Thomas Gossett said. “His decision was very poor, and we’re not going to tolerate that.”

Joan Carter, a Wallace Circle resident, had cared for the deer since her family came upon it during a fishing trip in Claxton two years ago.

Named Bambi by Carter’s 7-year-old granddaughter, the deer often trotted around the block, accepting treats and affection from neighborhood residents.

Gossett said Helmly, a licensed hunter, will have a court hearing in January.

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