Saturday, June 25, 2011

Surveillance video released of monkey chase in Fremont

New details have been released in the bizarre story of the monkey that was on the run in Fremont. Friday, police released surveillance video of the monkey chase that took place earlier this month. 

One of the police officers involved in the search laughs about it now that everyone's okay, saying he was never trained to chase a monkey. You may wonder how can someone have a monkey as a pet. It turns out, in Fremont, there is no law against having an exotic animal.

Surveillance video of the monkey on the loose shows it running through the Fremont Police Station parking lot. Sgt. Anthony Emrich says, "Just when you think you've seen everything in the city. In Fremont, I've seen some weird and unusual things, but I've never seen wayward monkeys jumping out of trees and attacking people."

Two weeks ago, a monkey escaped from its Fremont home and ran all over the community for about two hours. "A group of men approached me and said, 'You might want to take your kids and get in the house. There's a monkey on the loose.' I'm like, 'What? A monkey?'" says Melissa Tucker.

Ten-year-old Alaysia Liggins says, "I was running this way to try to go in the garage and then I turned around and looked and I tripped. Then the monkey was on my head and it jumped on her leg. It was kind of holding onto her and scratched her leg."

Cecilia Pinkston is the owner of the monkey. She lives on the 1200 block of Hickory Street. We spoke with her over the phone. Pinkston says her monkey named Ronnie has never before caused any trouble at all. He rarely even goes outside. But she does say she is pretty upset that a police officer fired two shots at her monkey."

Sgt. Emrich says, "At this particular stage, this monkey had attacked three people. We realized that this was a danger to the community. We have a right and we have an obligation to protect these people in Fremont, so we took drastic measures."

The officer missed the monkey. Ronnie ended up making his way back home. Many residents, even the mother of one of the kids who was attacked, say they don't mind the monkey in their community.

"I don't see anything wrong with it. They take care of it. It just happened to get out. It'd be if the dog got out and ran through the neighborhood scaring kids," says Vicki Mankin.

Pinkston will pay the maximum $150 fine, plus court costs after she was convicted of a charge of "Animals Running at Large." Pinkston told a judge she plans to sell the animal to someone outside the area soon. Until that happens, the judge has ordered her to secure the animal.

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