The tiny capuchin monkey became an unwilling passenger early last Friday when his 23-year-old owner, Cody Blake Hession, allegedly stole an unlocked car and crashed it into a ditch near Holiday, Florida.
According to Hession, the monkey, named "Monk," was purchased from a breeder in South Carolina, where the licensing of small primates, such as chimpanzees, lemurs, capuchins and marmosets, is not required by law. Hession says in police body cam footage that he cared for Monk for three years before moving to Florida.
In the video, as Monk climbs on his owner’s shoulders, the police inform Hession that owning a “Class III wildlife species” without a permit in Florida is considered a misdemeanor. But while it's only a minor legal offense to keep a wild animal locked away, for primates the psychological damage can last a lifetime.