SIKESTON -- Residents of the Aspen Trace neighborhood are tired of putting up with monkey attacks.
During the regular Sikeston City Council meeting Monday, Peggy Bearden, a resident on that street, showed council members a shirt belonging to her grandson that she said was damaged by the monkey during an attack.
"I want to see what we have to do to get rid of this monkey," Bearden said.
She also presented a petition with 51 names of like-minded neighbors.
"This is not the first incident - it's one of three or four," Bearden said. "I know something has to be done because we have small children that live on that street."
She recalled incidents in which the monkey has attacked bike riders and bit a lady living on her street.
"Now it's attacked my grandson," Bearden said.
Bearden said the monkey's owner, Phyllis Gates, takes the monkey outside of her home and is unable to control her pet.
"It lunged from her and grabbed my grandson's shirt," she said. "She can't control that monkey because he gets away from her. ... It is not a domesticated animal."
"I can see where this would be a concern," Mayor Mike Marshall said, "a wild animal running around like a dog."
Trey Hardy, community redevelopment coordinator, said the city's animal ordinance addresses future would-be monkey owners but current owners are grandfathered in, although the animals must be restrained.
"She can not control that monkey -- it gets away from her," Bearden said.
Efforts to receive comments from Gates regarding her monkey were unsuccessful as of presstime.
Council members also heard from Mary Stalcup of Reuben Street who advised the drainage ditch that runs behind the El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant needs maintenance.
"That ditch is just about completely filled up," Stalcup said.
Trash coming off the fence row collects in the ditch and a tree has fallen into the ditch, causing additional obstruction, according to Stalcup.
"It's going to be a serious matter if we get a big flood water," she said. "Try to look at the ditch and get something done."
Stalcup said the city cleaned out the ditch following flooding in 1989, "but it's filling in again."
"I've had two or three complaints," confirmed Steve Lee, street superintendent.
Regarding one place that has washed out again after being built up with cinders, Lee advised, "We could probably put some rock on that -- that would hold up better than the cinders."
Lee said city crews get permission from adjacent landowners about twice a year to go in and pull limbs, tires and other junk out.
He recalled how one landowner was even spotted throwing limbs in the ditch but agreed to stop once he was confronted.
"We know the ditch doesn't grow tires," Lee said. "People are throwing stuff in that ditch."
"Right now that water is just covered with that green stuff," Stalcup said, adding that the stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
"That water has been treated for mosquitoes," Lee said.
Stalcup said Lee and city crews are welcome to use her property to access the ditch.