Musician arrested after playing national anthem

Crowd-pleasing 4th of July performance ends in arrest for 22-year-old guitarist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 22-year-old musician was arrested and cited by police after playing the national anthem on a Neptune Beach sidewalk on the Fourth of July.

Lane Pittman said he was playing his electric guitar around 3 p.m. Saturday on 1st Street and Margaret Street, in front of his friend's home. He said a sergeant from the Neptune Beach Police Department came by and told him to move out of the street or he would go to jail.

Pittman said he politely asked if he could play on the sidewalk instead, and the sergeant said he could.

He moved to a nearby sidewalk and then played "The Star-Spangled Banner," drawing a crowd of about 200, who cheered him on and chanted his name.

"I don't think I ever played that song as good in my life as I did on that day. It felt right. It was an emotional roller coaster," Pittman said.

Man taken into custody after playing National Anthem

A video of the performance has received more than 8,000 views on YouTube. Toward the end of the video, officers can be seen approaching Pittman and asking to speak with him. Pittman puts his guitar away and goes with the officers.

Pittman said what happened next took him completely by surprise. The officers handcuffed him and drove him to the police station.


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