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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.


Tiffanie Jennings had called her cousin, Tonya Jennings, for help. When Tonya arrived, Sueko opened the passenger door to her sport utility vehicle. Jennings ran to an animal control truck that had just arrived.

Soon thereafter, Archigo arrived, witnesses said.

“How’d all this happen?” he reportedly asked.

The Haley sisters said he seemed angry that neighbors had called police.

“But we were scared to death,” Amber Haley said.

Kansas City police dispatchers weren’t sure if the calls about a loose chimp were a joke, but Sgt. John Blomquist immediately knew it was true.

He had responded to a call of a “suspicious party in a van” about seven years ago in the same area. As it turned out, Sueko was in the van alone, rocking it back and forth.

“I’ll be responding,” Blomquist announced over the radio. “And be advised, I do have a banana.”

When Blomquist got to the scene, he told the animal control officer to get in his patrol car so they could get closer for a tranquilizer shot.

But once Sueko saw the tranquilizer gun, she charged the police car. She pushed a trash can against its front bumper, climbed on the car’s hood, pounded the roof and kicked the windshield, breaking it.

“I didn’t expect it to go down like that,” Blomquist said.

When Sueko ran into a back yard, officers followed with their rifles, prepared to shoot if the ape approached anyone. The animal control officer hit Sueko with one tranquilizer dart but missed a second shot after the chimp climbed a tree.

Sueko later walked into her owner’s van.

Archigo told police he was an over-the-road trucker and that Sueko rode with him and his girlfriend.

City officials have repeatedly warned Archigo not to bring Sueko into the city. Archigo was cited in 2000 after complaints that Sueko injured a teenage girl by lifting her by the ankles and tossing her to the ground. The chimp also allegedly bit another girl.

At the time, animal rights advocates said such behavior is to be expected when chimps are allowed to mix with humans. The animals are not suited to be pets because they want to be dominant.

Kansas City animal control officials briefly confiscated the chimp in 1995, when Archigo was living in Kansas City, after investigating reports that Sueko had bitten humans.

City ordinances do not allow residents to keep primates within city limits. But when Archigo threatened to sue the city, officials returned the animal to him on the condition that he keep her outside the city.

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders remembers prosecuting the case against Archigo for tossing the young girl to the ground. Archigo was supposed to give up the ape.

“These type of situations have to be handled very seriously,” Sanders said Tuesday. “Chimps are considered as dangerous as lions or tigers if they escape from a zoo, but because of our image of baby chimps, we don’t always think of it that way. … They’re incredibly strong.”
 

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Am I the only person who does not find these animals in any way cute? How about the poor guy who got attacked a few years ago and had his man-toy bitten off by jealous chimps and their natural pecking order?! :surprised

Or the lady who had her face bitten in half and is now permanently disfigured. These are wild animals and no matter how many times people think they can roll around in the hay and be part of the herd, family or pack with them, in the end, their natural instincts will take over.

Nuts! Pet or no pet, if that thing came in my yard he'd be met right between the eyes from 20 feet away. Problem solved! I don't give a damn what Pita thinks. :WTF
 

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Am I the only person who does not find these animals in any way cute? How about the poor guy who got attacked a few years ago and had his man-toy bitten off by jealous chimps and their natural pecking order?! :surprised

Or the lady who had her face bitten in half and is now permanently disfigured. These are wild animals and no matter how many times people think they can roll around in the hay and be part of the herd, family or pack with them, in the end, their natural instincts will take over.

Nuts! Pet or no pet, if that thing came in my yard he'd be met right between the eyes from 20 feet away. Problem solved! I don't give a damn what Pita thinks. :WTF
:agree: They are cute, but they are wild animals. If one came knocking at my door it might not walk away.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Am I the only person who does not find these animals in any way cute? How about the poor guy who got attacked a few years ago and had his man-toy bitten off by jealous chimps and their natural pecking order?! :surprised

Or the lady who had her face bitten in half and is now permanently disfigured. These are wild animals and no matter how many times people think they can roll around in the hay and be part of the herd, family or pack with them, in the end, their natural instincts will take over.

Nuts! Pet or no pet, if that thing came in my yard he'd be met right between the eyes from 20 feet away. Problem solved! I don't give a damn what Pita thinks. :WTF
I'm with you! :thumbsup:

This chimp knew exactly what it was doing. He gave the cop the finger. The owner needs to be fined until his nuts fall off. He is putting his entire community in danger.

:agree: They are cute, but they are wild animals.
Rob, if they are cute, remind me to never allow you to hook me up on a blind date. You have great taste in cars, but.... :rolling:
 

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That happened three days ago, where you been?
 

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I thought this was about Poncherello...:lookinup:
 

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Ponch would have stole the police car, drove up to a swanky restaurant and expected to get served without a shirt and tie. He's way above busting windows. :laughing:
 

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Ponch would have stole the police car, drove up to a swanky restaurant and expected to get served without a shirt and tie. He's way above busting windows. :laughing:
:laughing:
 
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