Two Maryland men who rescued a deer trapped in a frozen river say they were each fined $90 for not having life vests in the boat used to get to the animal.
Sgt. Brian Albert of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police said about 5 p.m. Thursday a 911 caller reported a deer stuck in the ice of the Patapsco River, The Baltimore Sun reported.
A Department of Natural Resources Police officer and a crew from the Baltimore County fire department were dispatched on scene and started talking the situation over, Albert said.
"The river there, I'm told, is probably over 100 feet wide, maybe a little wider," Albert said, noting the deer was "out toward the middle" of the river, which "more than likely has some current."
"The Fire Department was kind of game-planning what they would do," Albert said. "With Natural Resources Police, we will attempt, but we are not going to risk a human life for a deer life, as cruel as that may sound."
Two men, Khalil Abusakran and Jim Hart, concurrently driving by the scene decided to do something about it.
"The deer was stuck and couldn't get up off the ice," Abusakran, 33, said.
So Hart got in Abusakran's inflatable boat moving into the frozen water using shovels and oars to break open a wide section of ice to free the deer who appeared pregnant, the newspaper said Saturday.
The deer was released into Baltimore Highlands Park and the men were each issued $90 citations for not having personal flotation devices on board though Abusakran said he did have them and told the Natural Resources officer numerous times.
Hart said many people have contacted him, offering to pay the fine, but he said that's not the point and he and Hart will fight the citations in court Feb. 18.