Some people say dogs are man’s best friend, but for one Florida man, his BFF is a Capuchin monkey who didn’t want to part with him — even as he was being arrested.
Cody Blake Hesson was caught by the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in Holiday, Florida, on Friday for reportedly driving a stolen car, according to Memphis’ Fox 13 News.
The vehicle had been reported stolen by its owner, noted the Tampa Bay Times. The owner did admit that the car was unlocked and the keys had been left on the floorboard though.
Hesson, 23, had driven the vehicle about 30 miles north of the St. Petersburg location where he found it. He wound up driving the car into a ditch at a gas station, which is where authorities finally caught up with him. The police were unaware of his pet monkey until the last minute.
Another surprise for the cops? The simian, named Monk, was wearing a diaper.
As officials processed Hesson and filled out paperwork, Monk kept close to his owner, who said he was 4-years-old and had been obtained from a breeder in South Carolina. The monkey, who was attached to a leash, even seemed a bit obsessed with the papers, constantly touching them. These moments and the friends’ sweet goodbye can be seen on footage captured by officers’ body cameras and posted on the Pasco Sheriff’s official YouTube page, which can be seen below.
As for the sad parting, it was as if Monk knew what was going on and that he was going to be separated from Hesson. In addition to giving his owner the kiss and hugs he requested, the monkey gently rubs the sides of his face, and then put his hands on his own head as if saying, “Oh, no. This can’t be happening.” Monk even enters the officials’ pet carrier by himself so not to cause his owner any more pain.
Hesson was booked into the Land O’Lakes Detention Center in lieu of $5,000 bail. Besides the auto theft charge, he is also facing charges due to the fact that he did not have the proper exotic animal permit to own a monkey.
Meanwhile, Monk was taken by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Debbie Cobb, a park manager at the sanctuary, said that Monk appears to be healthy, according to Cleveland’s Fox 8.
“We’re going to put him in quarantine, making sure he’s adjusting well. We’re going to make sure he’s eating well,” she said.
Officials have yet to determine if Hesson will be able to get Monk back.
“All in a day’s work,” said the Pasco Sheriff’s Office on its Facebook page.
Zachary Dendler, a Pasco County deputy, said that he had conflicting thoughts running through his head when he arrived on the scene, according to Fox 8.
“First thing is how is this monkey going to react to me,” wondered Dendler. “The other one was I kind of want to pet the monkey, and also I really hope it doesn’t bite me.”