DAYTONA BEACH — A Times Square performer known as the Naked Cowboy was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence and cited for panhandling while working a gig at Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Court records show Robert Burck, 51, who is widely known for wearing only white briefs, boots and a cowboy hat while playing a brightly coloured guitar, was arrested Saturday while performing at the annual event on Florida’s Atlantic coast. Burck is a regular at Bike Week.
The panhandling citation was given after officers saw people tucking dollar bills into Burck’s guitar after taking photographs. Burck then refused to follow directions from a police officer and pulled away from her, according to an arrest report.
In body-camera video from one of the officers, Burck repeatedly questioned why he was being detained after an officer put handcuffs on him. The officers told him to sit against the front of a squad car as his guitar hung by a shoulder strap around his neck.
“We told you to stop panhandling and you still accepted money from people,” a male officer told him.
A female officer told him that he was blocking businesses by drawing a crowd around him. Burck kept standing up instead of leaning against the squad car as he had been instructed. Passersby yelled out, “Free the cowboy!”
“What did I do again?” Burck said. “I don’t want money from anybody … It’s not what I’m doing here.”
When Burck tried to get a female companion standing nearby on a sidewalk to take his cellphone from his boot, the female officer grabbed him and pushed him to the back of the car. During the scuffle, the headstock on his guitar broke. The headstock is the part of the guitar at the end that houses the pegs used for tuning the instrument.
Burck repeatedly cursed at the female officer.
Burck was released from jail Sunday morning following a first appearance hearing, Volusia County court records show. An attorney for Burck, of Woodside, New York, was not listed on court records.
Video on Burck’s Facebook page, The Naked Cowboy, showed him performing and taking pictures with fans Saturday morning. A video posted to YouTube shows a police officer attempting to get a handcuffed Burck, whose guitar was still hanging from a strap around his neck, into a patrol car.
Source: ABC News