A Fruitville, Colorado, man ended up in jail on felony menacing charges Sunday after threatening two law enforcement officers with a banana.
The Associated Press reports 27-year-old Nathen Channing was arrested after pointing a banana at two Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies, placing them in “imminent fear” for their lives.
The arrest affidavit says that deputy Joshua Bunch was driving north over a bridge just east of Grand Junction, when he noticed Channing walking on the sidewalk. He saw Channing reach into the left side of his coat and pull out a yellow object, which he first pointed into the air, then in Bunch’s direction as he approached him on the bridge.
Bunch said that he sped off, “fearing it was a weapon,” and radioed a warning to his fellow deputy, Donald Love, who was traveling behind him. He then returned to the area to find Channing pointing the banana at Love.
Love got out of his vehicle and approached Channing, telling Bunch that he “observed what appeared to be a yellow tube with a black center,” and that he “thought it was a gun.”
According to KDVR, Bunch wrote in the affidavit that Love “stated he was in fear for his life at this point and was in the process of pulling out his hand gun when Nathen yelled, ‘It’s a banana!'”
After identifying the object was indeed a banana and not a gun, the deputies asked Channing for an explanation of his actions.
“Nathen stated he does a lot of ‘YouTube’ and thought it would be a ‘funny joke,'” Bunch wrote. “Nathen explained he did it to a friend who was also driving in the area and his friend thought it was funny.”
Bunch says that he did not notice any cameras in the area, and asked Channing for details about whether he was going to post a video of the incident to YouTube. Channing admitted that it was just a “trial run” of the joke, and he had not been recording when it happened.
In light of the recent events in Ferguson, and the 12-year-old Ohio boy who the Inquisitr reported was fatally shot by police last week for brandishing a toy gun, perhaps Channing chose the wrong time to play such a joke.
The police were not amused by the banana joke, and explained to Channing that “these matters are taken very seriously.”
Channing apologized to the deputies, admitting he may have taken the joke to far, but according to Bunch’s affidavit, “Nathen, by physical action, knowingly placed Deputy Love and I in imminent fear by use of an article fashioned in the manner to cause us to reasonably believe it was a deadly weapon.”
He was arrested, and if convicted, he could face up to three years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
Do you think the deputies overreacted?
[Image via PIX11]