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Texas Coach Jeff Banks & Dancer: Scrutiny on Alleged Halloween Monkey Attack

Texas Longhorns special-teams coach Jeff Banks is the subject of national attention after an alleged incident on Halloween

AUSTIN - Texas Longhorns special-teams coach Jeff Banks has become the subject of national scrutiny starting Monday night when reports surfaced surrounding an incident at his home on Halloween night involving his girlfriend, a pet monkey, and a trick-or-treater.

According to those reports, the monkey, which actually belongs to Banks’ girlfriend Danielle Thomas, attacked and injured a child on Sunday night. 

The animal, which is a white-faced capuchin monkey named Gia, performed alongside Thomas during her days as a dancer.

Once the news surfaced on social media, Thomas took to Twitter to defend her pet’s actions and to deny the initial report, stating that the monkey was safe in its enclosure and that the victim of the attack did not have permission to be near the animal.

“I had a haunted house on one side gated off/ he had no permission to go pass the gate i had no idea he went in my back yard,” Thomas said on Twitter. “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!”

“A 11 /12 year old child should know better then to enter someone yard without permission and old enough to also follow the rules,” she added. “The rules were when u get to the gate turn around and come back out for candy every other parent and child did so !”

“People lie so much it's ridiculous ! Stop believing everything u hear ! And more of what u see ! SMH !”

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Thomas later tweeted a video of the route the child took to get to her monkey's enclosure, in an attempt to vindicate herself and Banks in the incident. Thomas later deleted her Twitter account. 

Banks, who is one of the prized gems in Steve Sarkisian's new coaching staff with the Longhorns, has been linked in recent weeks to job openings across the country, including at Washington State.

Neither the coach nor the school has given a comment on the alleged attack.

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