Pasco Sheriffs arrest man with Capuchin monkey clinging to his chest
Deputies in Pasco County arrested a 23-year-old man who had allegedly driven a stolen car into a ditch early Friday.
When they asked Cody Blake Hession to step out of the car, his pet capuchin monkey came out with him, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
The agency released body footage of the arrest, which depicts the diaper-wearing monkey clinging desperately to his owner. At one point, the pet, who Hession calls "Monk," fiddles with the arresting deputy's paperwork.
Deputies questioned the legal status of Hession's monkey. He told them he acquired the animal from a breeder in South Carolina three years ago and that he has applied for a license to have the pet in Florida.
Owning a Class III wildlife species a proper pet permit is a misdemeanor in Florida.
Deputies allowed Hession to say his goodbyes before he was separated from Monk. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers took custody of the monkey and transported him to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary.
"The deal is that the capuchin is going to have to go to a sanctuary here, temporarily, until you figure out if you can get your licensing stuff squared away and if you can get it back," an arresting deputy told Hession.
According to an arrest report, Hession allegedly stole the car from the victim's driveway in St. Petersburg after he found the car keys on the floorboard of the unlocked vehicle. Hession was arrested around 6:43 a.m. in the 2700 block of U.S. Highway 19 in Holiday.
Hession was charged with vehicle theft, personal possession of wildlife without a permit and a violation of FWC rules pertaining to captive wildlife. He is being held on bonds totaling $5,300 at the Pasco County Jail.
This isn't the only recent monkey business in Florida. A female Home Depot employee was attacked by a pet spider monkey just outside of her workplace on Monday. The owner of that monkey was allowed to maintain custody as the investigation continues.