“Tactical Banana” arrested before mass “fruiting” spree can ensue in one of the highest crime communities in America
According to Freedom 1300 (www.Freedom1300.com) on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at approximately 9:45 am in Beaumont Texas, local law enforcement received a report of a man wearing a “banana suit” armed with an illegal sign and an AK 47. The Beaumont Police Dept. quickly responded with multiple squad cars and drawn weapons to confront the sign-yielding “fruit”.
So, did the responding officers divert a potential “fruity mass shooting”? Was there a “fruiting spree” about to take place? (Sorry, we quit.) It turns out the man dressed in the banana outfit was actually on the clock for his employer, Golden Triangle Tactical, and was wearing a legal AK-47 slung over his back in a non-threatening manner. He was approximately half a block from his employer’s store holding up a sign advertising the store’s grand opening; a method used by many local businesses to draw attention of passersby to similar events.
Although it is common for businesses within Beaumont to dress their employees in costumes and have them holding signs pertaining to their business, Beaumont P.D. suspected the sign was illegal – as in no permit was obtained to “legally” display it on a street corner. As a “precaution”, the police officers took the firearm and handcuffed the Golden Triangle Tactical mascot – “Tactical Banana” – while they assesed the legality of the sign because we all know that people dressed in banana suits who have not obtained proper permits can be an immediate threat to the general public, and this one had an “assault” rifle!
It was determined that the “Tactical Banana” had not in fact obtained proper permitting to display his sign as required by the Beaumont city ordinance which requires individuals or businesses to obtain permits before they may carry a sign soliciting business. The Tactical Banana was cited for violating the city ordinance and sent on his way – with his perfectly legal and open-carried AK-47 – back to Golden Triangle Tactical. (You may remember our story on Derek Poe, the owner of Golden Triangle Tactical who was arrested for legally open-carrying a rifle to his own place of business in December of 2013.)
Why do we find this story so incredibly preposterous? Beaumont, TX has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Beaumont, TX is one in 17. Within Texas, more than 96% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Beaumont. The violent crime rate in Beaumont is one of the highest in the nation. Violent offenses tracked included forcible rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. Your chance of becoming a victim of one of these crimes in Beaumont is one in 97…and Beaumont Police are dispatching multiple police units and uniformed officers to confront a man in a banana suit holding an “illegal” sign.
Of course we know that the real reason the officers responded was due to the legal firearm the “banana” was open-carrying. But with the firearm as well as the act of legally open-carrying it being completely compliant with the law, the only thing they could throw that would stick was the permit violation. We at Legally Armed America fully support law enforcement and the difficult job they have. We simply feel that this situation could be handled a little more professionally by Beaumont PD and question the handcuffing and gun confiscation if the sign was truly what was in question.
Freedom 1300’s Jamie Chizer was at the scene and is reported to have some “interesting” video that may show some “creative” interpretations of the Constitution by the responding police officers. Freedom 1300 (www.Freedom1300.com) will have an update to the story and video coverage of the interaction and will be sharing with us at Legally Armed America.
photo provided by Aaron Jacob