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Escaped 300-Pound Chimp Attacks Police Cruiser

Escaped 300-Pound Chimp Attacks Police Cruiser

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Kansas City Star via YellowBrix

October 20, 2010

KANSAS CITY – A 300-pound chimpanzee escaped from its owner Tuesday afternoon and ran rampant through a Kansas City neighborhood, scaring walkers, pounding on passing cars and breaking a police car’s windshield.

The 21-year-old ape, named Sueko, also pointed and laughed at residents and flipped off an animal control officer near 78th Street and Indiana Avenue, witnesses said.

About 40 minutes and one tranquilizer dart later, Sueko meandered into a cage in her owner’s van. The owner drove her — with a police escort — to Monkey Island, a primate sanctuary in Greenwood where she will stay while the city’s legal department weighs its option.

City officials would like to avoid returning the chimp to her owner, Mark Archigo, who has been in and out of legal trouble over Sueko since 1995.

On Tuesday city officials cited him for having a dangerous animal in city limits. It was at least the third time that Archigo has been cited for problems with Sueko getting loose or biting people. City officials, who briefly sent her to the zoo 15 years ago, even threatened then to euthanize her if Archigo brought her back into the city.

Archigo could not be reached for comment.

Tuesday’s incident unfolded about noon.

Amber and Ashley Haley were on their morning walk when they saw Sueko run from a vacant lot with a rope around her neck and dragging a chain.

The sisters weren’t too concerned. They used to play with the chimp when she was younger — and smaller. They hadn’t seen her in a few years but knew that the owner sometimes parked his semitrailer on the lot. He usually took the chimp with him in his van, but not Tuesday.

Archigo told police that he left Sueko in her cage inside his truck and that she somehow escaped. But the Haley sisters wondered if Archigo tied Sueko to a tree because she was dragging a chain with two padlocks.

Once the sisters realized the chain wasn’t attached to anything, they got worried. They walked toward the closest house, but Sueko headed for the house, too.

As they backed away, the sisters called on their cell phones for help.

Residents inside the house heard a loud bang, looked outside and saw Sueko hitting their vehicles and pounding on their front door. The ape broke a gate, knocked over a small fence and climbed on a parked Camaro while laughing and pointing at the residents gathered on their roof.

The residents tried to distract the ape so the Haley sisters could escape but soon realized that Sueko easily could climb onto the roof, so they retreated.

Sueko started swatting at passing vehicles. From in the house, Tiffanie Jennings and others shouted for motorists to keep their doors and windows shut.

The Haley sisters jumped into the back of a passing truck, but when Sueko charged them, they piled into the passenger compartment.

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