When the sparks calmed and the truck finally stopped, the lemur decided to make its escape. The wallaby, goat and parrot stayed behind.
The Florida Highway Patrol said troopers had to coral the Madagascan primate after it jumped from a trailer along Interstate 4 in Seminole County during a Saturday evening traffic stop.
Troopers arrested 27-year-old Shane Christopher Taylor, of Cocoa, on multiple DUI-related charges after he was accused of driving a pickup truck hauling a trailer with no passenger-side tires down the road, a number of exotic animals unrestrained in the back, hitting multiple vehicles along the way.
Calls began coming in around 6:15 p.m. Motorists traveling down State Road 417 near Oviedo saw the truck speeding erratically down the highway, its bare rims sending sparks flying behind it.
“I don’t know what was going on, but he was driving crazy,” one caller told dispatchers. “He couldn’t fit but he hit one of them and everybody was swerving, kind of fishtailing on the road, and he kept going.”
Another caller said she was hit just before exit 49, a few miles away.
“It was a big pickup and had a huge horse trailer,” she told dispatchers. “It was swinging and hitting me and hitting me.”
A few drivers tried to follow Taylor as he plowed through traffic. He made it up and across 417 to I-4 where he headed west, blowing past a trooper conducting a traffic stop near mile marker 100.
The trooper said he recognized the vehicle from a be-on-the-lookout issued to troopers in the area and went after him. Taylor pulled over near exit 98 in Lake Mary.
Shortly after the trooper pulled Taylor over, in-car video shows, a ring-tailed lemur hops onto the road from the trailer, scooching down near troopers and taking a few laps in the grass. FHP said multiple troopers had to corral the animal to keep it from running into traffic as they waited for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers to arrive.
Inside the trailer, troopers said they found a goat, parrot, tortoise, wallaby a sheep with “several lacerations, which were bleeding on its body,” among other animals. In the truck, troopers said Taylor was visibly impaired and there were several empty beer cans around him.
FHP said Taylor was arrested and charged with several counts of DUI, DUI property damage and injuries, driving while license suspended or revoked, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and more charges could be coming from FWC.
Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at dfig[email protected] Follow @danuscripts.