Local Home Depot worker attacked by monkey

Local Home Depot worker attacked by monkey

A Home Depot worker in Okeechobee County was bitten multiple times after a woman's pet spider monkey escaped from her truck earlier this week.

The sheriff's office said they were dispatched to a store, located at 2700 Highway 441 South, on Monday at 1:53 p.m.

The monkey's owner, Tina Ballard, told a deputy that she left her pet in her truck on a leash while she went inside the store.

However, the spider monkey managed to escape the vehicle, attacking a female employee at the Home Depot.

The worker who was attacked, Marilyn Howard, told a deputy that she was taking a break outside the store when she heard some of her coworkers yelling about a monkey.

According to the deputy's report, Howard said she first thought it was joke.  Later, she then spotted the spider monkey walking down the parking lot toward her with its leash still on.

Howard said she approached it and managed to grab it by the leash, but it climbed on her and bit her twice on the back.

The monkey then climbed down off of her, and she was able to grab it by its leash again, walking it back to the front of the store.

Apparently, the monkey wasn't done with his hijinks.

When the store's front door opened, Howard said the monkey got scared and attacked her again. This time she was bitten on the arm and hand and also scratched on the left side of her face.

The spider monkey attack victim refused medical treatment at the scene but told a deputy she would go to the hospital to be evaluated.

The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office said they contacted local animal control and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission about the incident.

The case was later turned over to FWC.

No charges have been filed at this time.

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