MESA COUNTY – A 28-year-old man was arrested near Grand Junction Saturday after allegedly pointing a banana at two deputies and telling them that he thought it would be a "funny joke" to post on YouTube to "lighten the holiday spirit."
Police say the man, identified as Nathen Channing, was not recording the incident.
According to the arrest affidavit, Deputy Joshua Bunch first encountered Channing at approximately 11:15 a.m. in the area of D ½ Road and 29 Road. Bunch, who was in a marked patrol car, saw Channing walking on the sidewalk.
"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 in the affidavit. "Nathen drew the object in the same manner someone would draw a standard handgun from a concealed holster."
Bunch says he immediately ducked into his patrol car and drove away, afraid that Channing had a weapon. He then called another deputy in the area and warned him of the situation.
The affidavit says Bunch saw Channing point an object at the other deputy, who initially thought it was a gun.
"Deputy [Donald] 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!'" Bunch wrote in the affidavit.
When asked why he decided to point a banana at two deputies, Bunch says Channing told him that he "does a lot of YouTube" and he thought it would be a "funny joke."
Bunch said Channing then informed him that he's a standup comedian and "it was just a joke that he realizes, now… is not funny."
According to the affidavit, when pressed as to whether or not he was recording the incident, Channing admitted to the latter.
"I informed Nathen his reasoning did not make [sense] to me since he did not have anything to post on the internet," Bunch wrote in the affidavit. "Nathen stated he was just completing 'trial runs' of the joke."
Bunch says Nathen told him he thought the joke would "lighten the holiday spirit."
A third officer was then called to the scene, and Channing was taken into custody at around 11:30 a.m., according to the affidavit.
Channing is facing charges of felony menacing.
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