Frankly, we don't know which of the people in our latest Schmuck of the Week post deserves the honor more: the guy who pointed a banana at two deputies, the law enforcers who arrested him or the prosecutor who decided to pursue charges in the case, albeit lower ones than originally envisioned. But whoever's the schmuckiest, we love this story! Get the hilarious photo-and-video-aided details below.
The hilarity begins with the arrest affidavit for Grand Junction's Nathen Channing, as accessed by 9News. At about 11:15 a.m. on November 22, the report says Mesa County Sheriff's Office Deputy Joshua Bunch spotted Channing near the intersection of D ½ Road and 29 Road in Grand Junction.
"I observed Nathen reach into the left side of his coat with his right hand and pull out a yellow object, pointing it in the air, then in my direction as I approached him," Bunch wrote. "Nathen drew the object in the same manner someone would draw a standard handgun from a concealed holster."
The deputy reacted to this horrifying provocation by hopping into his cruiser and driving away, then calling fellow deputy Donald Love, at whom Channing subsequently pointed the yellow object, too.
"Deputy 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!'" the affidavit says.
As for why he pointed the banana at the deputies, Channing is quoted as saying he's a standup comedian who "does a lot of YouTube" -- a claim we weren't really able to prove, although we did find a clip in which he strums an acoustic guitar.
At any rate, Channing, who wasn't recording anything at the time, thought pointing the banana would be a "funny joke," and websites like this one definitely agreed. But he was considerably less amused when he was busted on suspicion of felony menacing.
On a local TV report on view below, Channing made it clear what he thought of the charges. "They're absolutely ridiculous," he said. "What's next? Deadly assault with a burrito?"
Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger agreed that Channing didn't deserve to be pursued for a felony based on what happened -- but neither did he chalk up the whole thing to a silly misunderstanding. Instead, he filed a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a peace officer. As he explained to KREX-TV, "I decided while Mr. Channings conduct was felony stupid, it didn't really deserve a felony charge, so we have filed one count of a misdemeanor obstructing a police officer, I think that's what fits best with his incredibly dumb conduct,"
We're not sure about that -- but anything that keeps this story going longer is okay by us.
Here's a look at Channing's mug shot, followed by the KREX clip and the aforementioned local news report.