Confusion, rather than economics, was seen as the cause of a run on a Fort Washington bank yesterday. The runner was a deer.

John Buckmaster, manager of the United Bank of Maryland branch at 9401 Livingston Rd., said a deer, apparently confused by what it saw in an 8 1/2-by-11-foot window, crashed through the window near the bank's Livingston Road entrance during the busy noon hour.

The buck landed on a conference table in an empty room and slid across the table, and into the opposite wall. Puncture marks from the deer's antlers were found in the wall.

The loud crash startled more than a dozen customers and employes, who soon spotted the deer poking his head out of the room, staring into the lobby.

Then, Buckmaster said, the deer apparently mistook bright lights inside the bank vault for daylight, raced across the lobby and slammed into the tellers' station.

"He then turned and ran down the aisle by my desk," said bank employe Ethel Burdette. "I was stunned, but my mind said, 'move!' There was too much meat running toward me. I went under my desk. I'm a small person, so it was easy to get under."

The deer then leaped over the teller's window and through another window to a parking lot where it tried to hurdle an employe's car, but landed on the car roof and fell to the pavement.

The buck, cut and bleeding, picked itself up and disappeared into the woods across Livingston Road.

No one inside the bank was injured. Damage was estimated at $2,000.