Boston’s beloved Keytar Bear was attacked by three New Hampshire teens near Faneuil Hall on Saturday, Boston police confirmed.
Police said the young men were charged with assault and battery, affray (public fighting) and disorderly conduct for allegedly beating up the well-known street performer. The trio could also be facing civil rights charges, as the incident is also under investigation by the Boston Police Civil Rights Unit, due to the teen’s use of racial slurs during the attack.
The New Hampshirites allegedly attacked Keytar Bear just after 4:30 p.m. while he was playing his keytar — an electronic keyboard that is strapped on like a guitar — in his signature brown furry bear suit.
Witness Jessica Baldwin told Universal Hub the attackers slammed Keytar Bear to the sidewalk outside the Bank of America at State and Congress streets, ripped his bear head off and pulled the cords out of his keytar and amplifier.
Baldwin said the attackers also stole Keytar Bear’s tips.
According to police reports, the attackers also hit Keytar Bear repeatedly in the face and body while calling him racial slurs. When witnesses attempted to intervene, the suspects hurled racial epithets at them, too.
Witnesses called 911 to report the attack, and a police officer arrived on the scene before the teens were done with their beating, but they fled as the officer pulled up flashing his lights and sirens.
The officer chased suspects on foot on Water Street where he watched the three suspects climb up building scaffolding and then lay down on a platform in an attempt to hide from police. The officer ordered them from the scaffolding platform, and the suspects complied.
The suspects were positively identified as Keytar Bear’s attackers and arrested. One of the suspects was also charged with minor in possession of alcohol when officers found a bottle of vodka in his pocket.
This isn’t the first time Boston’s favorite furry street performer has run into trouble, though. Keytar Bear was forced into hibernation following several consecutive attacks, one of which broke his keytar, though fans rallied to crowdfund a new one so he could play on. He was beaten and robbed again that fall.