As reported, a 17 year old allegedly entered an internet cafe in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with a banana under his shirt. The teenager is then said to have pretended that the banana was a gun, while demanding money. The cafe’s owner and customers tackled the would-be robber, and called the police. However before the police arrived, the teenager is said to have eaten the banana, causing police to jokingly suggest that he also be charged with destroying evidence. The banana’s peel was recovered, and photographed as evidence, while the teenager has been charged with armed robbery.
This story, as well as the assault food home invasion that I mentioned last year, are somewhat humorous on the surface. However it is important to remember that these are still serious crimes, in which innocent people are placed in reasonable fear for their lives by a criminal who believes that they can just take what they want by force, instead of working to earn it. This level of fear, even when the “weapon” eventually turns out to be a banana, was expressed by the internet cafe’s owner, who said “[i]f he had had a gun he would’ve shot me.”
I would also like to congratulate the patrons and owner of the internet cafe for successfully defending themselves against this banana-toting robber. Their heroic action has stopped a criminal before he could rob other victims, with either a real gun or another piece of assault fruit.