Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Monkey on loose in Pasco or is it?

LAND O'LAKES — It was still dark Thursday morning when the man burst into the Citgo station at the rural crossroads of U.S. 41 and State Road 52.

Mohammed Kabir looked up from the counter. The man had been a regular customer for at least seven years. This time, he seemed rushed and upset. He grabbed a red Sharpie and piece of scrap paper. When he finished the note, he used packaging tape to post it on the edge of the counter.

Lost Monkey ACROSS street $200 RewARD NAME is Doc

He rushed outside.

An hour later, the man was back. This time, he bought two fried chicken legs and two thighs kept warm beneath a heat lamp. Outside, a truck pulled into the parking lot to deliver produce. Kabir watched through the window as the man shoved a few bills into the driver's hand, grabbed a handful of bananas and ran back into the woods.

It's not clear whether "Doc'' is the name of the man or the monkey. Kabir had never been formally introduced.

It's not even clear whether there really was a monkey.

But sometime just before 4 a.m., the man caused quite a commotion across the highway at the Hess gas station when he told a Pasco sheriff's deputy that his pet monkey had escaped from his car and disappeared into the woods.

The word spread. People parked cars on the side of U.S. 41, presumably to help search. Somebody called the Sheriff's Office, thinking there had been an accident.

Other deputies responded to the scene, department spokesman Kevin Doll said, but they didn't join in the search.

In the light of day, with the alleged monkey still missing, TV crews arrived.

Would this turn out to be anything like the notorious wild Pinellas County monkey that has been spotted swinging through St. Petersburg neighborhoods for three years?

Reporters might have asked "Doc,'' but the number on the poster went unanswered. The 702 area code: Las Vegas.

By Thursday evening, there was still no sign of the monkey. With the lack of information, Doll said, authorities could not confirm it even exists.

"In order to be sure that there was a monkey, we'd have to see the monkey,'' he said, "and I haven't heard anybody saying that they saw a monkey."

The sparsely populated area is known by locals as Gower's Corner. Nearby is Crossroads Sawmill. Owner Virgil Williams, an elderly man with thick glasses and a high-set trucker's cap, snickered when he heard of the escaped monkey. He said his lumber yard might be a choice place for the primate, what with all the wood and scraps of food workers toss out after their lunch.

Employee Shirlene Powell looked disgusted.

"Them are nasty," she said. "I wouldn't have a monkey."

Alex Orlando can be reached at aorlando@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6247.

Monkey on loose in Pasco or is it? 04/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 5, 2012 9:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Estuary wins pier design contest for the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway extension

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — And the winner is… Estuary.

    Voters overwhelmingly supported a pier design called Estuary for the $200-million extension of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa.
[Courtesy of AECOM]
  2. What to watch and listen to this week: Halloween offerings, best spooky podcasts

    Blogs

    Halloween is all about scary stories. The holiday itself is based on a compilation of creepy tales from history going back thousands of years.

    The Halloween kids classic The Nightmare Before Christmas airs this week on Freeform.
  3. Fennelly: Would you take Jameis Winston over Cam Newton?

    Bucs

    Factoring out futures, it wouldn't be a short list if I picked NFL quarterbacks I'd take right now over Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) calls a play during the first half of Sunday's game. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Man faces charge of abuse after 2-month-old injured

    Crime

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 2-month-old child was taken to All Children's Hospital with multiple skull fractures Saturday afternoon, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, and a 24-year-old man has been arrested.

    Jacob Brattain, 24, of Zephyrhills is charged with aggravated child abuse and was arrested Sunday. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, a 2-month-old child suffered multiple skull fractures under his care.
  5. Amazon receives 238 proposals from places eager to become its 2nd headquarters

    Business

    NEW YORK — Amazon said Monday that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters.

    Earlier this month, an Amazon employee gives her dog a biscuit as the pair head into a company building, where dogs are welcome, in Seattle. Amazon says it received 238 proposals from cities and regions hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters. 
[AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]