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Man 'Slips' On Banana Peel — And Gets Charged with Felony

Ever wonder what a banana plant looks like?

Ever wonder what a banana plant looks like? (Youtube screen grab from Metro surveillance.)
Ever wonder what a banana plant looks like? (Youtube screen grab from Metro surveillance.)

Did you hear the one about the man who slipped on a banana peel on the Metro?

Here's the punchline: After he sued Metro, Metro had him charged with felony fraud.

And here's why: The videotape.

On a Metro surveillance video, the man, identified by The Washington Post as Maurice Owens, is seen riding in an elevator in the Potomac Avenue Metro station. As the door opens, he "slips" on the peel, lunging forward and to the ground as if caught in the mouth by a sports fisherman's hook and pulled ashore.

Claiming his hip and leg had been injured, Owens sued the transit agency for $15,000.

The thing about video, though, is it provides a chance for an official review.

And what the video shows seems clear: Owens can be seen flipping something onto the floor behind him. According to a Metro Transit Police report cited by the Post, “this object was later identified as a banana peel.”

Goodbye lawsuit, hello second-degree fraud, a felony.

“Through our investment in digital camera systems across the system, we are demonstrating our commitment to protecting fare-paying riders and the region’s taxpayers from fraudulent claims,” Metro spokesman Dan Stessel told the paper.

“What you will see in the camera footage is that the elevator, just prior to Mr. Owens boarding, shows there’s nothing on the floor,” Stessel said. “He is then seen with what appears to be a banana peel in his hand, looking in the direction of the camera.” 

In fact, Owen seems keenly aware of the camera, looking at it intently at least three times.

In an interview with Metro officials, Owens had reportedly asked why a custodian for the station had “not cleaned up the banana peel prior to his entering the elevator,” according to the police report cited by the Post.

Albert Gazalooch November 27, 2013 at 10:51 PM
LOL.... worse than suing McDonalds over a lap full of hot coffee!
Trader X Trader November 27, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Hmm. Why is it that private businesses can be sued (and lose) by idiots that do things to themselves. For example, fill up your soda at the station and then throw it down on purpose, slip in it, sue and win. This was a real case. I guess govt is too good for this crap. They exempt themselves from fraud but leave private business to defend themselves in court at their own cost.
Cindy Halpern November 29, 2013 at 07:20 AM
It is better to be honest and healthy. I wouldn't want to get hurt. I hate being in the emergency room. I would rather be at my computer writing to all of you.
Michelle Schaffner Bachran November 29, 2013 at 12:28 PM
To Albert Gazalooch- If you had done any research on the McDonald's coffee burn case I don't think you would be making that comment. Do an image search at the very least. The burns were excessive and severe. I have never seen hot liquid burn someone so badly. The temperatures that McDonalds kept there coffee at were extremely above safe or necessary.
Judith November 29, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Wow! Talk about stupid! The video is very clear - no banana peel in the beginning, banana peel appears, but the guy looks directly at the security camera before dropping the peel and again a couple of times before he slips on it. IMO he wanted to make sure the camera caught him slipping and falling but was too stupid to realize that it would also catch him planting the banana peel. This should go into the annals of the world's most stupid criminals!
Allen November 29, 2013 at 07:12 PM
If Obama had a son.
catch22 November 29, 2013 at 10:35 PM
I guess he was trying to give the transit authority the slip. He didn't try and get a second a-peel?
John Boy November 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM
The Washington DC Metro is not a "private business". It is owned and run as a joint venture between the local governments.
Barry A Clarke` November 30, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Last night as I was leaving after picking up a pizza, I noticed in my review mirror as I was backing up, a man walking up towards the driver side of my vehicle. He was not visible on my backup camera which I was watching too. Then I saw him jump into my cars path. I hit the brakes and watched as if I had hit him. Afterwards, as he came within three feet of my car, the radar detection alert went off to advise there was something within close proximity of my car. After I explained what I saw and my radar detection as he got within three feet of my car, was when he decided that I knew he was a con artist trying for the easy buck. “Alert”, cons better be careful of technology because it is watching you………
Timothy Brown November 30, 2013 at 06:03 PM
It will go to the court of "appeals"
Mark Burdman November 30, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Michelle Bachran McDonalds is well aware of how dangerous there coffee is. They have charts that will show it is cheaper in the long run to settle some burn lawsuits then to keep it at lower and safer temperature and have to brew fresh coffee. They make more profits having there coffee last longer.
Bert Marchael December 01, 2013 at 07:48 AM
Of course it was a banana peel he dropped instead of throwing it in the trash. What else would an uncivilized ape eat?
Greg Amidon December 01, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Wow! Who would have thought he would be black.
Dennis December 01, 2013 at 08:54 PM
This is the end result of what happens when you "pull out" during "heat of passion" END RESULT: Half a man without the "added luxury items" EX: A Brain :-)

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