Today's award goes to a hapless New Zealand serial offender whose criminal career went rather . . . er . . . squirrely, so to speak. This is an older report, but it's only just come to my attention, and it's too good not to recognize with an appropriate award.
John [Casford] admits he was "high as a kite" when he bypassed an unsecured gate, broke through two padlocks and entered the monkey enclosure at Wellington Zoo. He had it in his mind that he was going to catch one of the zoo's squirrel monkeys—a canopy-dwelling species from the Central and South Americas—and take it home to his girlfriend. The squirrel monkeys had other ideas.
"I don't know what happened in the squirrel monkey enclosure," said Wellington District Court judge Bill Hastings during John's sentencing last week. "The squirrel monkeys know. You say you couldn't find them and I don't speak squirrel [monkey].
"What I know is that by daybreak all the monkeys were distressed, two of them were injured, and you had a broken leg, two fractured teeth, a sprained ankle, and bruises on your back."
John reportedly told zookeepers that he'd broken his leg while jumping the boundary fence—but his attempted monkey heist was ultimately foiled by the fact that monkeys are not, as it turns out, just hairy little children with tails. They are savage acrobats that will beat the living piss out of anyone who wanders into their territory unannounced. And in this case, that someone also happened to be a wanted criminal.
Police had been chasing John for a string of unrelated offences over the previous seven months, including an unprovoked assault on a man waiting at traffic lights, an alcohol-fuelled attack at a convenience store, and assaults on a Wellington City Council community safety officer and a night shelter resident who refused to hand over cigarettes, the New Zealand Herald reports.
Judge Hastings sentenced him to two years and seven months in prison for both the attempted monkey burglary and the crime spree leading up to it.
There's more at the link.
"Not my circus, not my monkeys" - oh, no, wait: those are my monkeys!
I'd like to see him try that with African baboons. Those suckers'll flat-out kill you. They've been known to gang up on and take down leopards on occasion, so a drunk human wouldn't be much of a problem for them.