‘I have no hard feelings:’ Naked Cowboy talks arrest in Daytona Beach, settlement with city

Daytona Beach agreed to pay Robert Burck $90K stemming from his 2021 arrest

Robert Burck, better known as the Naked Cowboy, says he doesn’t hold any grudge after he was arrested during Daytona Beach’s Bike Week in 2021.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Robert Burck, better known as the Naked Cowboy, says he doesn’t hold any grudge after he was arrested during Daytona Beach’s Bike Week in 2021.

“I have no hard feelings,” Burck said in an interview Thursday with News 6.

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The city of Daytona Beach recently agreed to settle a lawsuit filed on Burck’s behalf, ultimately paying the performer $90,000 for the arrest.

For his part, Burck wants people to know that the lawsuit was not his idea, but rather a move made by his management.

“It was my management company and the attorneys themselves who basically orchestrated the proper action,” he said.

Two hours of newly released body camera footage shows the chaos and commotion that surrounded the Naked Cowboy’s arrest in Daytona Beach during Bike Week.

Despite that, the iconic street performer said that he does believe his 2021 arrest was inappropriate.

“I recognize that they (the officers) did violate my constitutional rights,” Burck said.

At the time of his arrest, police said Burck was taking 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.

“I wasn’t soliciting money — certainly wasn’t aggressive panhandling, by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. “People were coming to me, willingly handing me money.”

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Burck admits he may have been “mouthy” with officers but said he was “being pushed around.”

“I’m the type of person who doesn’t have any complaints with anyone. I’m not somebody who holds grudges,” he said. “I just kept a smile on, spent the night in jail, patiently waited all day till I got out.”

Burck said he plans to continue to operate as usual and even intends to return to Daytona Beach.

“It’s just water under the bridge and I was there in Daytona this year. Again, no problems,” he said.

As for the officers who arrested him, Burck said he has no hard feelings toward them and hopes “everyone is back to work as usual.”

“Remember, I never sued anyone. The lawyer did. I just supplied the briefs,” he said.


About the Authors:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.

Tiffany produces the 4:30 p.m. newscast and has been with News 6 since January 2019. She also produces Florida's Fourth Estate podcast. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in radio/TV. Tiffany has lived in Central Florida since 2004 and has covered the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman trials and several hurricanes.