HOLIDAY — Pasco sheriff's deputies who captured a man accused of driving a stolen vehicle on Friday got two for the price of one: They found a Capuchin monkey named Monk clinging to the driver's chest.
Cody Blake Hession, 23, of Holly Hill, faces a charge of auto theft.
The vehicle was reported stolen from St. Petersburg at about 4:24 a.m., according to the arrest report. The owner said the keys were left on the floorboard of the unlocked vehicle, the report said, and Hession did not have permission to drive off in it.
He drove it about 30 miles north when deputies said he drove it into a ditch off U.S. 19, then tried to run away. He was captured at about 6:43 a.m., the Sheriff's Office said, which is when deputies discovered Monk.
Hession told deputies he got the monkey in South Carolina four years ago. But he did not have a exotic animal permit for the monkey. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to take possession of Monk.
Hession was booked into the Land O' Lakes Detention Center where he was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail. Monk was to be taken to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor.
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