NH teens allegedly used racial slurs, beat Boston street performer in bear costume
June 18. 2017 2:49PM
BOSTON - Three New Hampshire juveniles were arrested Saturday afternoon in Boston and charged with a racially charged assault against a well-known street musician, Boston police said.
The department's Civil Rights Unit is investigating the crime, according to Boston police. The three assailants allegedly called "Keytar Bear" racial slurs while striking him in the body and face.
When bystanders tried to intervene, the three used racial slurs against them too.
The assault happened in the heart of the city - at Congress and State streets at Fanueil Hall - about 4:40 p.m. Saturday, police said.
Keytar Bear is a well-known street musician who plays a portable keyboard while dressed in a bear costume. A keytar is a portable keyboard that most musicians sling over their necks like a guitar.
"I'm trying to kill racism in my own little way, you know what I mean?" Keytar Bear said in an April 2014 interview in Boston Magazine. "You don't know if (I'm) black or white, you just see a little bear. He's playing music and he's having fun."
Police said the assailants ripped off Keytar Bear's mask and then began striking him.
Police eventually chased the three down and caught up to them after they climbed scaffolding and tried to hide near Water Street toward Devonshire Street.
All three are from New Hampshire and positively identified as the assailants, police said.
They are charged with assault and battery, affray, and disorderly conduct. One was charged as a minor in possession of alcohol, after police discovered a small bottle of vodka in his pocket.