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Texas Asst. Coach Jeff Banks, Girlfriend Sued After Monkey Allegedly Bites Child

Adam WellsDecember 5, 2021

John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Texas assistant coach Jeff Banks and his girlfriend, Danielle Thomas, are being sued over an alleged incident involving her monkey that occurred on Halloween. 

Per ESPN's Mark Schlabach, the lawsuit filed in Travis County District Court in Austin, Texas this week accused Thomas' monkey of biting a child who was in the area trick-or-treating and went into a backyard where the monkey was being kept. 

According to the lawsuit, the monkey "aggressively bit down on C.C.'s hand and refused to let go" after the child attempted to get a high-five after being told the monkey was trained to do that. 

The family that filed the lawsuit is seeking damages for gross negligence and defamation. 

The lawsuit also says Thomas was "worried about the risk of her monkey being taken away" instead of trying to help take care of the child following the alleged attack. 

"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," according to the lawsuit. 

Schlabach noted Thomas posted a series of tweets that have since been deleted. She wrote the child "had no permission to go pass the gate i had no idea he went in my back yard, neither did i know anything about a bite ! Until a doctor of neighborhood told me the treat a small bite. No parent have contacted me about it !"

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Thomas added that "the rules were when u get to the gate turn around and come back out for candy every other parent and child did so !"

According to Schlabach, Thomas has since deleted her Twitter account. 

Banks just wrapped up his first season as an assistant on Steve Sarkisian's staff at Texas. The 46-year-old was hired as an associate head coach, tight ends coach and special teams coach. 

Prior to joining the Longhorns, Banks spent the previous three years at Alabama. He won a national title with the Crimson Tide last season as their tight ends and special teams coach. 

A Washington State alum, Banks began his coaching career at his alma mater as a graduate assistant in 1999. He has also worked at Idaho State, UTEP and Texas A&M.    

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