Rescue crews ruin man's rock-top proposal plan

Posted April 9, 2016

A California man's plan to propose with a big rock ended in a helicopter rescue and his arrest.

Michael Banks, 27, said he didn't know it was illegal to climb California's Morro Rock. He made the 600-foot ascent without ropes Thursday morning and recorded the proposal saying, "You see this rock? This rock is the rock I would love to put on your finger. If I could buy a diamond this size, I would because that's what you're worth to me and ultimately, I'll never let that go. So will you marry me if I feel that way at least?"

But on his descent, Banks found himself surrounded by first responders.

"I shouted out to the fireman, 'Is there a problem? Because you guys are rolling in by the numbers right now,'" Banks said.

The problem was Banks' illegal climb, which triggered the rescue response.

A helicopter eventually lifted Banks down to the ground where he was checked over and issued a misdemeanor citation for trespassing.

Hours after the rescue, Banks was arrested by Morro Bay Police for being under the influence of methamphetamine. Banks, an Army veteran, says he was on medication from the Veteran's Administration. 

After spending the night in county jail, Banks faces the trespassing fine plus thousands of dollars for the rescue.

Saying his intentions were rock solid, Banks says he has no regrets.

"I would do it all again simply for the fact that she deserved something so unique that no man has ever done that in a proposal and no man will again," he said.

After she saw the stunt, Banks' girlfriend read it just right.

"She said yes," he said. "The way she said yes was the emotional part because she says 'Of course I'll marry you. You are a crazy SOB ... you're either going to die or get arrested.'"


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