- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A New Mexico man was arrested Monday night for throwing a banana peel at comedian Dave Chappelle during a stand-up comedy performance in Santa Fe.

Conflicting news reports say Mr. Chappelle, 41, was either hit in the leg with the banana peel or it missed him completely as he stood onstage at the Lensing Performing Arts Center.

“Would you like to see your favorite comedian beat the [expletive] out of somebody?” Mr. Chappelle said during the set, USA Today reported. “I can’t believe that not only did somebody throw a banana on stage I can’t believe they had a banana on them the entire time.

“And why was the banana peel so brown?” he continued. “He was probably saving this banana to do this to me. Why didn’t he throw a good banana at me? Just the brown peel? Where’s the rest of it? I am actually offended by the poor quality of the banana. It was brown, man.”

The comedian vowed that if he saw the man again, he’d “throw a tuna casserole in his face,” USA Today reported.

Christian Englander, 30, tried to flee the theater after the incident but later admitted that he threw the banana peel on stage, according to Santa Fe police. Police said he bought and ate the banana before the show, then stuck the peel in his pocket, a local NBC affiliate reported.

Andrea Dobyns, a spokesperson for the Santa Fe Police Department, said both Mr. Englander and his friend were “visibly intoxicated” and that Mr. Englander had been disruptive during the performance.

Police said that while Mr. Englander was being interviewed, he smiled and laughed while saying, “Maybe I should have handed [Mr. Chappelle] the banana instead.”

Mr. Englander was arrested for battery and disorderly conduct and was held without bond Monday night into Tuesday morning, the NBC affiliate reported.

Mr. Chappelle agreed to follow through with charges because he said Mr. Englander did not appear to be apologetic and that he believed the incident was “racially-motivated,” the station reported.

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales responded to the incident on Twitter Tuesday.

“The racism inherent in his actions is unacceptable,” he said. “It doesn’t represent who we are, and we’re committed to taking action that reflects our true values by prosecuting those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

“Note on #Chappelle incident in #SantaFe: individual given lifetime ban from venue - justice process must still move fwd but good first step,” he later added.

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