Metro Weekly

NYC’s ‘Naked Cowboy’ arrested after yelling homophobic slur at police

The Naked Cowboy, real name Robert Burck, didn't respond well to being arrested for panhandling

naked cowboy
The Naked Cowboy, being arrested after he was cited for panhandling — Photo: Daytona Beach Police

New York City’s notorious street performer The Naked Cowboy was arrested in Florida last week after using an antigay slur to describe a police officer.

Robert Burck, who has spent years performing in Times Square in white briefs, boots, and a cowboy hat, was charged with panhandling and resisting arrest, the Associated Press reports.

The 51-year-old had traveled to Florida — during a pandemic, no less — to perform at Bike Week in Daytona Beach. The city has an ordinance against panhandling, which led to Burck being given a citation by police on Saturday, March 6, after they spotted him accepting dollar tips for taking photographs with passersby.

According to police, Burck refused to stop accepting money, which led to him being arrested and placed in handcuffs.

Body camera footage showed Burck repeatedly questioning his arrest, before launching into a tirade against Black people.

“So the Blacks can walk around and take tips all day long but I don’t want anything about that,” Burck says to the officer, who responds with, “Excuse me?”

“I don’t care. You heard me, yeah, you heard me. I don’t want money from them,” he said. “I’m already rich. I don’t give a fuck about the money. You can break the guitar and give it to all the Black people.”

After Burck tries to have his wife, the “Naked Cowgirl,” take his phone from his briefs, the female police officer forces him to the back of the police car.

During the altercation, in which she repeatedly tells Burck to stop resisting, the strap on his guitar breaks. He responds by yelling anti-gay slurs at her.

“Fuck you, I’m done with you,” Burck can be heard saying. “Fucking dyke. Fucking dyke.”

The AP reports that Burck was released from jail on Sunday, March 7, after a first appearance at the Volusia County Branch Jail courtroom.

He offered a plea of no contest to resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, and the judge dismissed the panhandling charge.

Burck was released after being sentenced to time-served.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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