Deputies arrest man in banana costume with shotgun

By Paige Dickerson
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES -- A man in a child's banana costume and a friend were arrested after a string of events led Clallam County Sheriff's deputies to corner their car on Old Olympic Highway on Tuesday evening.

Carlton Jeffery Kohnert, 21, who is apparently in the Marine Reserve, was arrested for investigation of reckless endangerment, aiming or discharging a weapon and indecent exposure, said Clallam County Sheriff's Sgt. Randy Pieper.

Police believe Kohnert -- fully costumed in the yellow banana costume -- exposed himself to a woman at the Port Angeles Wendy's restaurant and drove through Four Seasons Ranch brandishing a shotgun.

Anthony Marks Maybury, 21, was arrested for investigation of reckless endangerment.

An 18-year-old woman was in the car with them, but Pieper did not name her because she was not arrested nor is she thought to be involved in any crimes.

"The banana costume has been seized and put into evidence," Pieper said.

"[Kohnert] couldn't really tell us why he was in the costume.

"All we know is he was drinking earlier in the day, but he didn't really have a reason for the costume."

The Port Angeles Police Department received the first report about a costumed man at about 6 p.m., after he was seen at Wendy's, Pieper said.

After leaving Wendy's in a Dodge Stratus, Kohnert -- the costumed man -- and Maybury drove to Saar's Market on U.S. Highway 101 on the east side of Port Angeles, Pieper said.

"They then were called in for a car doing a burnout -- in other words pulling 360s in the Saar's Market parking lot," Pieper said.

"They did not, it appears, get out at Saar's, though."

After leaving Port Angeles, the group made a stop at Four Seasons Ranch, where Kohnert -- still dressed in the banana costume -- got out, brandished a shotgun and began yelling, Pieper said.

"We believe he was yelling something or other about white supremacy," Pieper said.

The group then left and drove east on Highway 101 again.

State Patrol troopers and Clallam County Sheriff's Office deputies followed the car, which turned off onto Old Olympic Highway, where another deputy was driving from the east, Pieper said.

The car stopped at about 6:15 p.m. and the occupants got out. The costumed man, holding a shotgun, released the weapon when told to put it down, Pieper said.

Investigators are awaiting a warrant to search the car. They could see two empty shotgun shells in the passenger seat, Pieper said.

"At this point, though, we have absolutely no reports of any shots fired," he said.

"And he denies that it was loaded at any time, so those might not be related."

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Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at paige.dickerson@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 18. 2010 1:12AM
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