Three hairdressers and several parents and children were in the Holiday Hair salon at a strip mall in this Philadelphia suburb when the white-tail buck crashed through the glass door. Goepfert was paying for his son Tyler's haircut.
The deer "was charging right at my son, so I decked him," Goepfert said. He grabbed the buck by the neck and slammed it to the floor, then climbed on top and began choking it, hoping to keep the animal at bay until authorities arrived.
But the deer broke loose. Goepfert finally chased it into a back room and barricaded the door with chairs.
Police and a state Game Commission officer later tranquilized the deer, but it had a broken jaw and cuts on its neck and had to be euthanized, officials said.
Glen Campbell, a wildlife conservation officer, said the deer was likely frightened and disoriented.
"They have a very, very primeval flight response," Campbell said. "If they get scared, they don't think, they just try to get away."
Goepfert recalled that the deer kicked him several times and broke loose as they wrestled on the floor. "I weigh 225 pounds and he threw me right off," he said.