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When asking your girlfriend for her hand in marriage, you definitely put yourself out there. But maybe not as far as a man from Central California recently did when he asked his girlfriend to marry him while rock climbing. And while she said yes, she might actually have reconsidered after what happened next.

Michael Banks asked his now bride-to-be the big question while he was rock climbing on a 600-foot face known as Morro Rock just offshore of Morro Bay at the mouth of Morro Bay Harbor. Although she wasn’t actually with him, he used his phone to pop the question. “”This rock is the rock I would love to put on your finger,” he told a local news station he opined to his future wife. “If I could buy a diamond this size, I would because that’s what you are worth to me.”

And that’s where things took a turn. Other than the Salinan Indians who consider the rock sacred and can climb it for religious purposes, the landmark is off limits to the general public. Some reports state that Banks, 27, was descending from his climb and became stuck on a ledge, forcing a rescue from authorities. A helicopter swooped in to pick him up off the cliff with the rotors of the heli reportedly coming dangerously close to the side of the sea stack. Apparently Banks showed erratic, nervous behavior so police arrested him on suspicion of being under the influence of methamphetamine.

But on Friday, in an interview with a local news station, Banks refuted most of that story, claiming he’s a military veteran who takes medication for post-traumatic stress disorder. He also said that he’s an experienced climber and didn’t need to be rescued.

“I didn’t ask for help down, it was offered and kind of in a humorous way, the firemen and I kind of negotiated a helicopter ride for me not risking my life in their eyes of course”, Banks says about the rescue Thursday morning, “I’m not saying I’m the world’s best climber or I’m superman but I’m confident in myself, if I made it all the way to the top of that rock without ropes and made it that far down to the bottom 50 or 100 feet, what makes anybody else think that I might not have made it the last 100 feet?”

Regardless Banks now has to pay a steep fine for a misdemeanor trespassing violation as well as what could be thousands of dollars for the rescue operations. Maybe not quite the way he was looking to start off a long and healthy marriage.


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