Busted for Playing the Star-Spangled Banner on the Fourth of July

Too bad Lane Pittman may have been born too late to really know what it means to live in the Land of the Free:

The 22-year-old University of North Florida senior was issued a citation on July 4 for breaching the peace following a raucous guitar rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a verse of Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold.”

Pittman said, however, he was nearly arrested and sent to jail for the night.

“I’m going from this emotional high, and then all of a sudden I just go to this extreme low of being in the back of a police car,” Pittman told Fox News.

Armed with a borrowed amplifier, a guitar made by his dad and a distortion pedal his friend built, Pittman set up to play the National Anthem during Neptune Beach’s annual Independence Day celebration. An enthusiastic crowd quickly gathered. …

He started off in the street, but only got a few notes out before Pittman said a police officer told him, “If you want to go to jail you can keep playing. You can’t play in the middle of the street.” So Pittman moved to the sidewalk, where a video captured his performance, the crowd’s enthusiastic reaction – and several police officers approaching him after the conclusion of his act.

Then came the overkill.

Pittman said officers walked him over to a cop car and told him to spread his legs and put his hands behind his back. Then, he said, they initially arrested him for breaching the peace and inciting a riot.

“I can’t tell you how many times they told me I would have to go downtown, do an overnight at jail, get mugshots,” Pittman said.

But when the officers attempted putting his information in the system, Pittman said the computer kept crashing. Finally, the officers dropped the charge for inciting a riot, issued him a notice to appear and released him.

Under the circumstances, they should drop any charges in return for Pittman’s autograph, which could be worth some money one day. Look at the crowd he drew:

On a tip from Wiggins. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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