If you’ve ever been a tourist in the Times Square section of Manhattan, chances are good that you’ve seen the Naked Cowboy. Born Robert Burch, the American actor, singer, songwriter, and writer has been busking on New York City streets since the late 1990s. He wears only cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and white briefs (even in the dead of winter!), with a guitar placed in front of him that gives the illusion of nudity.
During the height of the pandemic, when NYC was nearly completely shut down, Burch was still out there, doing his Naked Cowboy thing (I caught a glance of him on EarthCam). At the time, it was almost kind of comforting to see something so normal (not that walking around NYC in your boxers is normal. Maybe “familiar” is a better word) during such abnormal times.
Anyway, Burch had apparently gone to Bike Week at Daytona Beach last week and was arrested on Saturday and was booked into the Volusia County jail for “aggressive panhandling.”
According to the Daytona Beach arrest report, Burck took photographs with bystanders near Main Street and Fern Lane as they put money in his guitar. Officers said his actions violated a Daytona Beach city ordinance on panhandling.
He shows a video on his Facebook of his playing the guitar in Daytona and posing for photographs, although the video doesn’t show him receiving any money at the time.
According to the report, Burck also refused a police officer’s orders and as he pulled away, the officer “redirected” him to a marked patrol vehicle. From C&B Adventures:
In the process, Burck’s guitar, which was filled with money, was broken.
The Naked Cowboy has gone to Bike Week for well over 20 years and has done the same shtick for years. I’m not sure why the Daytona Police Department decided to arrest him this time, but…
Anyway, during Burck’s appearance in court, the judge dismissed the panhandling charge and let Burck plead no contest to the charge of resisting arrest. Burck was required to pay $223 in court costs and was released from jail early Sunday.
Feature Photo: Library of Congress
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary