Man Charged After Phony Claim of Slipping On Banana Peel
LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — A man is facing felony fraud charges after police say he threw a banana peel on the floor of an elevator at a metro station, faked a fall and sued the transit agency for injuries.
Transit Police say Maurice Owens was taken to the hospital for treatment of left leg and hip injuries after slipping on the peel at the Potomac Avenue Metro Station on Aug. 8 around 8:45 p.m.
Owens requested $15,000 from the Washington Metropolitan Transit Agency to settle his claim. He claimed WMATA was responsible for the injuries because a custodian had not cleaned up the banana peel before he entered the elevator.
Video captured by a security camera inside the elevator contradicts Owens’ claims. The video shows the floor was clear of any debris when he entered the elevator.
It also shows Owens looking directly into the camera while holding an object in his hand. Shortly thereafter, he stepped back from the door and a banana peel appears on the floor.
When the door opened, police say Owens thrust himself out of the elevator, falling to the ground.
After reviewing the footage, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Owens with felony second degree fraud. He was arrested on Nov. 8.