VERMILION, Ohio - A spider monkey involved in a biting incident at a Vermilion car dealership was euthanized Saturday.
Family members confirm to 9 On Your Side's Cleveland sister station NewsChannel5 that Jacob Ruehlman, the owner of 'Brodi' the spider monkey was alerted of his beloved monkey's death around 9 a.m. The Ruehlmans had hired an attorney to try and block the euthanization, but it was too late.
Family members say the whole incident was blown out of proportion and got out of control.
Jacob A. Ruehlman, 20, of Vermilion, was holding the spider monkey, Brodi, in a car at the Pat O'Brien Chevrolet dealership on Liberty Avenue, when an employee asked if he could pet it. Ruehlman said yes, and when the employee reached out, the monkey bit his thumb, drawing blood.
The employee was treated at a hospital for the small bite. Vermilion Police confirmed with the spider monkey's veterinarian that it had received a rabies vaccination.
Police claimed that Ruehlman did not have a permit to own an exotic animal, and there are questions about who owns the animal. According to the Erie County Department of Health, representatives went to Ruehlman's home Wednesday night but he and the monkey were gone.
The Ohio Department of Health found the monkey in Union County but did not take it; the Health Department is awaiting permission from the Ohio Department of Agriculture to test the animal for rabies - which requires euthanizing it and removing its head to test its brain.
Ruehlman and his twin brother, Michael, were arrested with two gibbons that had been reported stolen from Nebraska in Lee County, Florida Sept. 19, court records indicate. Misdemeanor charges filed after their arrests are still pending in Lee County Common Pleas Court.
Brodi has his own YouTube channel, Ruehlman told newsnet5.com. Watch the most recent video below and click here to see more.