Also, back in 1877, Jimmy, an organ-grinder’s monkey was charged with assault after an altercation with Mary Shea, the proprietress of a junk shop in New York.
Miss Shea decided to give Jimmy a piece of candy after he had danced a little jig for her. As the monkey began munching his prize, she playfully attempted to steal it from him. The monkey “thereupon assumed a decidedly aggressive attitude, and seizing the second finger of the junk-woman’s right hand,” bit it. Upon hearing the case the judge stated he did not believe he could legally commit a monkey. Miss Shea protested, but to no avail. Jimmy then respectfully removed his velvet hat, climbed atop the judge’s desk and attempted to shake his hand.
The police blotter for the case read: “Name: Jimmy Dillio; Occupation: Monkey; Disposition: Discharged.”