Christian Englander, a New Mexico resident, was arrested after throwing a banana peel at comedian Dave Chappelle during a set on Monday.

Heckler Throws Banana Peel At Dave Chappelle

Englander, 30, caused a bit of a stir at Chappelle’s Sante Fe stand up show on Monday night when he threw a banana peel at the black comic. Englander was arrested and charged with battery and disorderly conduct. And, while the incident interrupted the show and clearly offended the comedian, Chappelle kept on performing. “I can’t believe not only that someone threw a banana on stage, I can’t believe they had a banana on them,” Chappelle joked.

Local police reportedly believe the incident was racially motivated, as does Chappelle, but Englander insists he isn’t racist, saying, “If I was racially trying to imply that he [Chappelle] was a monkey, I would have thrown him a full banana, not my banana peel.”

Englander, who admitted that he had been drinking that night, told police that he threw the banana peel after Chappelle started making fun of his friend who was also in the audience. “I thought a joker could take a joke,” Englander said.

Englander was reportedly escorted out of the show by a member of the venue’s security team and had a private meeting with the comedian after the show at Chappelle’s request. “He didn’t understand the humor in the joke and he was stuck on the racial divide…His eyes started bulging out and he started cursing profanities,” Englander alleged.

A few days after his initial arrest, Englander again threw a banana peel at someone. According to reports, a man named Jay Wills had been discussing the incident between Englander and Chappelle, and the two argued over the facts. The argument ended with Englander throwing another banana peel at Wills, who is also black. (Englander claims he bought a bag of bananas for April Fools’ Day.)

“It seemed fitting at that point. I was like, the irony of this situation is too much to pass up, and I probably should’ve just let it be,” Englander said of the second altercation.

Meanwhile, Englander is still struggling to understand how his actions could be construed as racist. Instead, he insists that the throwing of fruit has always been a heckling tradition, adding, “I’m just starting to understand how it [the peel toss] was construed as racist.”

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