Man's Cliff-Top Proposal Goes Downhill Fast

He had to be rescued, then was arrested
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2016 5:17 AM CDT
Man's Cliff-Top Proposal Goes Downhill Fast
Michael Banks is stranded on a ledge some 80 feet off the ground on Morro Rock.   (Bob Isenberg via AP)

Michael Banks' engagement couldn't have gotten off to a rockier start. Police say the 27-year-old Fresno man illegally scaled the 600-foot Morro Rock off California's Central Coast after sunrise Thursday to propose to his girlfriend over the Facetime app. She said yes, but was upset that he'd climbed the rock at all, reports KSBY. Then, rather than return down the south side of the rock, Banks chose a steeper path down the eastern face and got stuck on a small chunk of rock. "He couldn't go any direction, on a sheer ledge, with his feet dangling 80 feet off the ground," a fire chief tells the AP. Locals heard him calling for help around 8:45am, and a helicopter soon arrived to rescue him.

"It was a pretty amazing rescue on the part of the Fire Department," a Morro Bay State Park ranger tells the San Luis Obispo Tribune, noting the helicopter’s blades had to get close to the rock face to deliver a harness to Banks, who was back on the ground unscathed by 9:30am. He was issued a misdemeanor citation for trespassing—the fire chief says it's illegal to climb the rock "because it kills people"—and was told he'd have to pay for the rescue, which likely cost thousands. But things only went downhill from there. Banks was "found to be under the influence and in possession of methamphetamine" and ended the happy day in San Luis Obispo County Jail, reports KFSN. (Another proposal with iffy judgment involved stopping cars in the middle of a highway.)

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