citizens outraged

Man in Gorilla Suit Arrested

by Wes Mayer - wesley@newnan.com

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At least three vehicles parked on the square were also damaged by Hokes’ bananas and suffered from cracked windshields and dented roofs. According to Fishell’s report, Hokes threw around 230 bananas around the square.


A man dressed in a gorilla suit was arrested early Sunday morning once authorities were able to remove him from atop the old Newnan Courthouse.

The suspect, Jim Micky Hokes, 36, now faces a number of charges, including public intoxication, obstruction and possession of three different types of narcotics. He was also charged with aggravated assault for hitting both a woman and an officer with bananas.

Around 1:45 a.m., officers with the Newnan Sheriff’s Office responded to the courthouse in downtown Newnan in reference to a loose gorilla, according to a police report from Officer Art A Fishell. When officers arrived, they instead found a person, later identified as Hokes, dressed as a gorilla on the courthouse’s roof. Hokes also had a few crates of bananas with him, and he was throwing them at vehicles and people walking around downtown.

First responders found one woman lying unconscious on the sidewalk, according to Fishell, and emergency medical units were called to the scene. The woman was treated for a concussion and transported to Piedmont Newnan Hospital.

“I was just walking out of the Alamo with my friends, I saw a flash of yellow and the next thing I know, I’m lying in the hospital,” said the victim, Nadia Reele Pearson. “Seriously, who throws a banana?”

At least three vehicles parked on the square were also damaged by Hokes’ bananas and suffered from cracked windshields and dented roofs. According to Fishell’s report, Hokes threw around 230 bananas around the square.

“That man is insane,” said Dewitt Ness, whose vehicle’s windshield was damaged by a banana. “Now, I have a banana-shaped crack messing up my view. Who is going to pay for this?”

When officers attempted to talk Hokes down, he began acting belligerently and started throwing bananas at officers, Fishell said. Two officers were struck, and one, Officer Dee Shepson, also suffered from a concussion and was transported to the hospital.

Officers were able to get a ladder and climb onto the courthouse roof, but by that time, Hokes began climbing up into the clocktower out of officers’ reach, Fishell said. At this point, officers feared for both Hokes’ and their lives, so they backed away.

After waiting for around three hours, officers decided to utilize one of the Newnan Sheriff’s Office’s new pieces of equipment, a small quadricopter drone equipped with a tranquilizer gun.

“We knew one day we would need to use it,” said Newnan Sheriff Aaron Nyus. “It cost around $25,000, but it came in handy Sunday.”

Piloted remotely by Capt. Rick Kerry, the drone was able to fly up to the tower and shoot Hokes with three tranquilizer darts, according to Fishell’s report. Hokes was knocked unconscious, and around 5 a.m., officers were able to climb up and carefully carry him down. Officers then removed Hokes’ gorilla suit and found amounts of crack cocaine, marijuana, heroin and ecstasy and two empty bottles of goldschlager inside.

Once Hokes was taken into custody, he was charged with aggravated assault with an other weapon, criminal trespassing, criminal damage to property in the second degree, obstruction of officers, aggravated assault of an officer, public drunkenness, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of heroin, possession of ecstasy, possession of alcohol in a government building and 200 counts of littering.

Hokes was transported to the Coweta County Jail where he is being held without bond.



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