Texas coach Jeff Banks, girlfriend face lawsuit over alleged monkey biting incident

Texas Longhorns assistant football coach Jeff Banks and his girlfriend, Danielle Thomas, were sued over an incident that occurred on Halloween involving the woman’s pet monkey allegedly biting a child.

Amy and Casey Clinkenbeard filed the lawsuit against Banks and Thomas in Travis County District Court alleging their child was trick-or-treating on Halloween and were invited to a haunted house, according to ESPN. The lawsuit says the child and his friends were taken to the area where the monkey was kept and was told the animal gives out high-fives and instead the monkey bit the boy.

Thomas was identified as the owner of the monkey.

"C.C. (the boy allegedly bitten) was forced to manually pry the monkey's jaw open. There was so much blood that C.C. was unable to see the full extent of the injury," the lawsuit says.

"Instead of showing any semblance of care for an injured child, Danielle Thomas was instead worried about the risk of her monkey being taken away. ... Danielle Thomas stated to the physician that the monkey had bitten her before and that she was fine, implying that the monkey, therefore, did not have rabies," the lawsuit says.

A physician who lived nearby reportedly treated the child and the doctor and another neighbor addressed the situation with Thomas.

Around the time of the incident, Thomas made a video and posted it to social media to try and distance herself from the incident. She also pushed back at the notion the child was led to the monkey in a series of tweets that were later deleted, according to ESPN.

"I had a haunted house on one side gated off/ he had no permission to go past the gate I had no idea he went in my backyard, neither did I know anything about a bite! Until a doctor of the neighborhood (sic) told me the treat a small bite. No parent has contacted me about it !" she wrote.

"An 11 /12-year-old child should know better than to enter someone's yard without permission and old enough to also follow the rules. The rules were when u get to the gate turn around and come back out for candy every other parent and child did so !"

Social media sleuths later discovered she worked as a dancer under the stage name "Pole Assassin" and appeared with the animal on the "Jerry Springer Show."

The Clinkenbeard family is seeking damages for gross negligence and defamation.

Banks is also the special team's coordinator and tight ends coach for the Longhorns. He formerly served under Alabama head coach Nick Saban and spent five years in the same role with Texas A&M.

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