South Jersey man accused of hiding baby deer in shopping bag and possessing crack cocaine, police say

A Mays Landing man surprised police in Stafford Township this month when officers discovered he was hiding a baby deer in a shopping bag at a ShopRite, authorities said.

Police were called to investigate suspected shoplifting at a Route 72 grocery store on June 1. When officers arrived around 6 p.m., they found Matthew Keithley, 23, walking in the area of ​​the ShopRite, police said.

As officers asked Keithley questions, they noticed a foal sticking its head out of the shopping bag. Police told Keithley he was being arrested for illegal possession of a deer, authorities said. Keithley allegedly attempted to flee, but was arrested and taken into custody.

Authorities alleged Keithley gave officers a false name and was also in possession of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia. He had active arrest warrants in Atlantic County.

Keithley is charged with unlawful possession of a deer, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest in flight and providing false information to a law enforcement officer. ‘order. He is being held at the Ocean County Jail.

Authorities said the foal was released into the wild, near where Keithley found the animal.