Man who said he slipped on a banana peel in Metro elevator appears in court

Authorities charged Maurice Owens after investigators say he faked an injury on a Metro elevator after tossing a banana peel to the floor. (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)
December 2, 2013

A man who said he slipped on a banana peel as he got off a Metro station elevator and later was charged with fraud, appeared in D.C. Superior Court on Monday, but his hearing was postponed.

Maurice Owens, 42, is charged with second-degree fraud, a felony. The District Heights man said he slipped on a peel as he was getting off the elevator at the Potomac Avenue Metro station in August, injuring his leg and hip. He sued Metro for $15,000 — in part to cover $4,500 in chiropractor bills.

But the incident was captured on tape from a camera in the elevator — and the tape showed something different. The claim against Metro was thrown out and Owens was charged with fraud.

Monday’s hearing was continued to 11 a.m. Dec. 16, so that Owens’ attorney could have more time to prepare, according to prosecutor Stephanie G. Miller. Owens and his attorney, Aleta Clayton, declined comment as they left the courtroom.

Owens faces up to three years in jail and $3,000 in fines --or up to three times the amount he was trying to claim from Metro.

Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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