Armed but not quite dangerous

A North Carolina teen faces an attempted armed robbery charge based on an attempt that was most likely first of its kind. John Szwalla held-up a small store with just a banana a few days ago, but his pseudo-weapon was quickly discovered when the owner and other patrons were able to restrain him. Whether it was out of embarrassment or preparedness, the teen ate the alleged weapon before the police could arrive leaving only a peel as evidence.

While the North Carolina statute calls for the presence of a dangerous weapon for an armed robbery to occur, it appears the state uses a rather broad interpretation of this rule. In this case, the use of a relatively harmless object hidden in a manner to resemble a gun was enough to qualify as such. Whether the teen intended to harm anyone is questionable but the police have certainly taken a stance against such a prank.

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