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Watch a Guy Bust Out a Banjo Solo for the Police Who Are Trying to Arrest Him

A TV news reporter described his behavior as "more than a little strange."
July 28, 2015, 4:19pm

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During a recent standoff, police in Vancouver, Washington, were treated to some banjo music by the man they were trying to arrest—and a neighbor got video of the whole thing with a cellphone.

According to a report filed on Sunday by the local Fox affiliate in the southern Washington city, Andrew Helmsworth was taken into custody alive after a long standoff—despite screaming, running around, and doing plenty of things that could be construed as threatening, including wielding a banjo—and yes, you can kill someone with a banjo.

The TV news claims the incident occurred after Helmsworth got into an argument with his dad, which reportedly culminated in some form of assault. There had also been a 9-1-1 call about someone walking around naked with a knife. Helmsworth reportedly locked himself in his house, according to a neighbor, and occasionally opened the window to yell at the gathering police that he wasn't coming out. This went on for a couple of hours.

But just when it seemed like another boring standoff, the video shows Helmsworth open his front door, and plop the case for a musical instrument down on his front porch. He then apparently straps on the banjo and struts down his driveway, plucking out an avant-garde melody. It's not clear what his endgame strategy is, but anyone who has ever begun learning an instrument as an adult knows the importance of finding time to practice even when you're busy with something like work, or a police standoff.

Once he gets to the end of the driveway, Helmsworth just kinda stops and turns on his heels, leaving his bare back completely exposed. There's a loud crack sound, which the woman being interviewed by the TV reporter says is a rubber bullet being fired. The suspect grabs the back of his left leg and goes down. Then the cops can be seen wrestling Helmsworth onto a stretcher while he belts out bloodcurdling screams.

According to the Fox affiliate, after being apprehended Helmsworth was charged with assaulting a family member—a felony—and placed in Clark County lockup.

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