In August, Washington, D.C., resident Maurice Owens reported that he slipped on a banana peel that was in a metro elevator and claimed to have sustained hip and leg injuries. Now the jig is up, as a video has been unearthed depicting Owens of throwing the banana peel on the ground himself.
Owens’ claim against the city has been tossed out and he faces a charge of second-degree fraud, according to The Washington Post.
The 42-year-old District Heights man tried to sue the transit authority for a reported $15,000 to help pay for his chiropractic care for his alleged injuries. But, according to the video tape, any bodily injuries that may have resulted from the fall were likely caused by Owens’ very own hands.
The incident occurred on Aug. 8, around 9 p.m. On the 90-second video, Owens is seen entering an empty metro elevator. He paces around three times as he peers into the camera after each lap. As Owens prepares to exit the elevator, the video depicts him throwing an object behind him onto the ground. The said object was later identified as a banana peel.
Owens is then viewed falling onto the ground, his body laying half in and half out of the elevator. He then took his fall complaint to the metro station manager, who in turn summoned transit authorities and an ambulance for him.
Fourteen days went by before Owens filed a claim against the transit authority.
Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel viewed the video with a Washington Post reporter, then commented accordingly: “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. He is then seen with what appears to be a banana peel in his hand, looking in the direction of the camera. An object can be seen on the ground, and then when the elevator doors open, he steps on the object, thrusts himself forward and falls out of the elevator.”
When Owens was interviewed by Metro officials, he reportedly criticized transit custodians for not cleaning the elevator properly.
Meanwhile, a Superior Court judge has ordered Owens to undergo a battery of mental health competency tests. He is also scheduled to appear in court on Monday to face the charges against him.