Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Times Interview with Officer who Killed Travis the Chimp

The New York Times today features a chilling article about Frank Chiafari, the Stamford Police Officer who was called to the scene the night Travis the Chimp attacked Charla Nash. Most of the news coverage of the event has come from Ms. Nash and Travis' owner, Sandra Herold, but Officer Chiafari has a completely different perspective that hadn't yet been profiled.

He and his colleague almost thought it was a joke when they hear the call to respond to a "monkey attacking someone." They soon realized the monkey was the friendly chimpanzee Officer Chiafari had known for many years. When they arrived, he saw what the article describes as a "lump of clothing in the driveway." That lump turned out to be the faceless body of Charla Nash.

After bashing the police car's passenger side view mirror, Travis approached the driver's side, bloody from stab wounds inflicted by his owner, opened the car door and flashed his teeth. Officer Chiafari shot four times, and the chimp went back into his home, where he died.

The article focuses on the emotional impact the event had on Officer Chiafari. It's not hard to see why it did. After the shooting, the officer approached Ms. Nash to find "[h]er hands are off" and "thumbs and fingers all over the place." She reached out for his leg with what remained of her arms.

I imagine we're pretty close to the end of this event's tenure in the spotlight, but this article was a new look at just how frightening and tragic it was.

1 comment:

malerieyolen said...

tragic all around. Post well done, Notes.