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Man climbs rock to propose via Apple's FaceTime, gets arrested

Technically Incorrect: A California man decides to scale a rock in Morro Bay, California, in order to propose. Things don't go so well.

Morro Rock in California. Romantic? Yes. But perhaps he should've proposed on the pier?


Proposing to the love of your life is a very special thing.

It's tempting, then, to make the event memorable. But you can't always control what about an event will stay in the memory most.

Consider, please, the proposal of Michael Banks, performed on Thursday afternoon.

The City of Morro Bay, California, says Banks decided to climb the iconic, 600-foot rock that sits in the bay the coastal city is named for and to propose to his girlfriend via Apple's FaceTime.

You might find this a noble pursuit.

You might find it slightly less noble when I tell you climbing isn't allowed there. Apparently, locals regularly contravene the ban. Still, Banks may have been slightly injudicious in the route he took to get off the rock once he proposed.

Morro Bay Fire Capt. Todd Gailey told the AP that Banks "took a different trail down, much steeper."

You can feel trouble coming, can't you?

"He couldn't go any direction, on a sheer ledge, with his feet dangling 80 feet off the ground," Gailey added.

And so it was that Michael Banks had to be rescued by helicopter.

The Morro Bay Fire Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The fire department did tweet images of Banks' rescue.

Humiliation isn't the only thing the newly engaged climber was confronted with.

"The gentleman will be billed for the chopper ride and other related costs," the city of Morro Bay told ABC News. He also received a misdemeanor citation from the California State Parks.

And that's not all. After his rescue, Banks allegedly returned to the rock. There, someone reported that he was behaving erratically.

Morro Bay Chief of Police Amy Christey told me that Banks was arrested on Thursday for allegedly being under the influence of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and for allegedly being in possession of it. His bail was set at $10,000 and the investigation is ongoing.

Might I offer a couple of indicators for lovers that emerge from this tale?

Why propose by FaceTime? I know that the iPhone can bring people together, but isn't it always better to not only look your lover in the eye, but also hold his or her hand while you're doing it?

Indeed, it's unclear whether Banks' intended accepted his proposal. The City of Morro Bay said, "We are aware that there are now conflicting reports as to whether the proposal was accepted. We have no additional details."

I worry that this proposal may not have been as romantic as Banks intended. If you're up a cliff, it's not as if you can easily go down on bended knee, is it?

Moreover, as the city pointed out: "A rescue requires putting the lives of first responders at risk unnecessarily and requires the unnecessary spending of taxpayer dollars. The rock is a peregrine falcon habitat and is a sacred site for the Northern Chumash and Salinan Indian tribes."

Secondly, isn't it better to immediately consecrate your engagement with a hug rather than, say, an arrest?

As the saying goes, cliffs and phones can break your bones, and unorthodox proposals can come back to hurt you.