‘Sure enough … there was a monkey’ on the loose in ChamberlainChamberlain Police Officer Garrett Harmon said he responded to a report of a monkey in town early on June 9 and actually spotted and pursued the simian.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
CHAMBERLAIN — A monkey was reported on the loose in Chamberlain last weekend, and thereby hangs a tail. Er, tale.
Chamberlain Police Officer Garrett Harmon said he responded to a report of a monkey in town early on June 9 and actually spotted and pursued the simian. He knows some people think he’s bananas, but Harmon said he saw what he saw.
“It was kind of shocking,” he said Friday. “I wouldn’t have totally believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes.”
Harmon said a man pulling off Interstate 90 around 4:40 a.m. reported a monkey walked across the road in front of him on Exit 265. The officer drove over to the area to check it out.
“Sure enough, on the corner of the off-ramp there was a monkey,” he said.
It was grayish in color and about 2 feet tall, Harmon said. He decided to try to catch it — “It didn’t seem very aggressive” — and also attempted to get it on his dashboard camera as it scampered around a Dairy Queen parking lot.
But the monkey eluded him and ducked down into the grass, so he was not able to capture it on video. Harmon said when he aimed his flashlight on the monkey, it raced off.
“Two skips and a hop and it covered so much ground,” he said. “It went into a semi lot. I went and looked but I couldn’t find it anywhere.”
Harmon said he spoke with a couple of drivers who were awake at that hour, and they said it wasn’t their pet. But one driver told him it’s not unusual for a semi driver to adopt a monkey as a traveling companion. A 1979-1981 TV series, “B.J. and the Bear,” was about a young semi driver and his monkey.
“I honestly believe it was one of the trucker’s pets,” said Harmon, 24, who had never heard of the old TV comedy.
He has driven by the area a few times in the past week, seeing if the tiny ape will make a return appearance, but its furry little head has not been spotted.
Harmon admits he has been teased a few times about the report but said he takes it all in stride.
“It’s all in fun and games,” he said.
There will be at least one more “monkey” sighting later this summer in Chamberlain. The band Jade Monkey is scheduled to play the Chamber of Commerce street dance July 14.
Meanwhile, police officers are keeping their eyes peeled for a real monkey sighting. Harmon said while Police Chief Joe Hutmacher considers the monkey at-large, he doubts he will see it again.
“I don’t think I will ever have a call like that in my life,” Harmon said.