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Bay area homeowner kills doe and fawn with pellet gun, stirring online outrage

A resident of this wealthy San Francisco Bay enclave has become the target of online outrage — and may face criminal charges — for shooting to death a doe and its fawn that were eating newly installed landscaping.

Tiburon police arrested Mark Dickinson, 54, shortly after 5 a.m. Sept. 2. Officers were responding to a report of a suspicious person when they found two severely injured deer in the street near Dickinson's bay-view home. The animals died a short time later.

Officers arrested Dickinson after they determined he shot the deer several times with a high-powered pellet gun with a scope, laser and flashlight attachment, according to Chief Michael Cronin.

Dickinson told officers he meant to scare away the deer, which were eating decorative plants. Dickinson was booked and released from jail that same day.

“My client did not intend to harm the animals,” lawyer Charles Dresow said in an email. “The public outrage related to these allegations is driven by the inflammatory claims of the Tiburon Police Department, which haven't been proven in court.”

The Marin County Humane Society was called to dispose of the deer, and the agency is urging prosecutors to file charges.

Society spokeswoman Lisa Bosch said the deer suffered a long and painful death. The wooded region just north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge, she said, is home to a variety of wildlife.

“It was a momma doe and her daughter, and they weren't menacing anyone,” Bosch said. “Using violence is something that is upsetting to people. We are certainly disturbed.”

Thousands of negative comments have been posted on several social media sites — including Facebook and the Tiburon section of the website NextDoor — calling for prosecutors to charge Dickinson.

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