Okeechobee Home Depot employee attacked by spider monkey

A 50-year-old Okeechobee woman’s spider monkey apparently escaped from a truck in the Home Depot parking lot Monday afternoon and allegedly bit a store employee multiple times.

According to an incident report by Deputy Devon Satallante of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), at 1:53 p.m. on June 4, he responded to Home Depot, located in the 2700 block of U.S. 441 South, in regard to an animal complaint.

Upon his arrival, he met with the complainant, who reportedly informed him that she had left her pet spider monkey in her truck while she went inside the store. The monkey was on a leash but managed to get out of the vehicle and attack one of the Home Depot employees before being brought under the control of the owner.

The Home Depot employee reportedly informed Deputy Satallante that she was in the break area outside of the store when she heard fellow coworkers yell about a monkey and thought it was a joke. The employee then stated that she suddenly saw the monkey walk down the parking lot toward her with a its leash attached.

The woman then apparently got hold of the leash, and the monkey then climbed onto her back, biting her twice, stated the report.

The monkey then climbed down off the woman’s back and she regained control of the leash. The employee then walked the monkey to front of the store in an effort to locate its owner.

The report stated that when the front sliding glass door of the store opened, the monkey then appeared to get scared and bit the employee on the arm and hand. The monkey also reportedly scratched the left side of the employee’s face.

The report concluded that the employee refused medical attention but informed law enforcement that she would go to the hospital herself for medical evaluation and treatment. Digital photographs were taken of the injuries and submitted into evidence.

OCSO Animal Control and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) were contacted and arrived on scene as well.

The case was turned over to FWC, and both the owner of the spider monkey and the Home Depot employee were provided an OSCO agency business card with Deputy Satallante’s contact information and case number.

The Lake Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and now includes news from around the lake every Wednesday.

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