Charges: Lafayette man intentionally struck deer in video posted to Snapchat

A Lafayette man is facing charges for allegedly hitting a deer intentionally in Sibley County.

Eric Paul Platz, 36, was charged Tuesday in Sibley County Court with misdemeanor counts of careless driving, using a motor vehicle to chase wild animals, hunting deer without a license, and using a wireless device in traffic.

A criminal complaint says a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer received copies of a Snapchat video from two different complainants in April.

Court documents say the video appeared to be taken by Platz, who was driving on Co Rd 8 south of Winthrop.  Investigators say the video showed a deer on the right shoulder of the road running in the same direction that Platz was traveling.  The complaint says the deer crossed the road, and Platz pursued the animal, veering his vehicle over the centerline and into the opposite lane of traffic. Investigators say it appeared that Platz hit the deer on the opposite shoulder of the roadway.

Police say Platz’s name was displayed on the Snapchat video which showed Platz with the cell phone in his hand while he was driving.  The vehicle interior in the video also matched Plaztz’s minivan, according to the complaint.

A search warrant for Snapchat showed the video was posted to Platz’s account.  Witnesses also reported seeing him in the area the day the incident occurred.

The alleged incident happened just weeks after an Ely man was accused of intentionally striking three deer in northern Minnesota, causing fatal injuries that required euthanization.

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