Madison Police Blotter: Banjo Attack

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Much more serious than last week's ukelele assault was this incident recently reported by the police department of Madison, Wisconsin:

Incident Type:  Weapons Violation

Incident Date:  08/06/2012 – 11:42 PM

Address:          852 Williamson St. (Willy Street Pub)

Arrested:         [name redacted], age 20

Victim:             Male, age 33, Madison


Initial officer information was that the suspect was on foot heading toward the downtown, with a dog and a banjo…. Minutes earlier, the suspect had refused to show identification, and began yelling and swearing at the bartender after being asked to do so. He threatened the victim with bodily harm while swinging his banjo. The musical instrument struck the bartender’s leg, but he was not injured.

The suspect then pulled a hatchet out of his backpack, which escalated things considerably. The bartender ran back inside, locked the door, and called police. They quickly located the suspect, primarily by looking for a guy on foot with a dog and a banjo. "When asked if he wished to talk about what happened," says the report, "he said not without a lawyer as 'I've been through this before.'" Wise choice, O traveling minstrel.

In the only previous incident of banjo-related violence I'm aware of, the instrument was wielded only in self-defense.

Banjos were also mentioned in this item (along with Vladimir Putin), and this one (along with Eddie Van Halen), but feature prominently in neither.