A sad experience from internationally acclaimed busker, Space Cowboy:

After 24 hours locked up I am now released from jail!!!!

All my performance props have been confiscated but I am a free man.

I was arrested for entertaining on the streets of New York!

They charged me for ‘Disorderly conduct’ and I was locked up with junkies, sexual offenders and four local break-dancers.

While performing in front of a large crowd in New York two officers came into my show and one of the police officers, Officer Carolan, told me that I must put down my sword and that “I don’t care if you are a sword swallower, you where holding a sword in public and I have every right to shoot you… you are lucky I am just going to arrest you” then he told me that “If you don’t want to get into serious shit you must tell your crowd that they should all go away and that you will be back performing in one hour to finish the show”…yeh right, well that sure was a loada.

As soon as most of the crowd dispersed I was cuffed and aggressively guided into the back of a police vehicle. I spent the next 24 hours handcuffed and locked up in a cell. No bed, no food (unless you could call the small dried up sandwich food that others used for a pillow), no rights. When I was locked in a small cell with 26 other prisoners one of the officers said tauntingly and loudly through the bars “don’t tell these guys you swallow”.


All of my performance props that I brought with me from Australia are now police property and I can not get them back. Believe me I have tried but it’s a convoluted impossible process! I have a gig this weekend so I have been desperately trying to buy all new props. I ordered a new 4m unicycle, more swords and whips… The only thing they let me keep was my bag! So that turned out to be a very expensive street show for me. I even missed my flight because I was in jail! Total loss for me is in the thousands even though in the end I was not charged or fined… They just let me go.

My lawyer said that I must have run into a real asshole of a cop… and I think he was right. Why lock someone up for entertaining??? There are worse crimes in this world. Isn’t that a waste of police time and tax payers money??? In fact it cost a minimum of $800 dollars to process every person in the cell that night and most were not charged including 4 street performing break-dancers in my small window of jail time who also had their sound systems confiscated for dancing in the street! What ever happened to America the land of the free???

Busking New York sux bigtime!!!


While we were in New York we heard stories similar to this from street performer after street performers. It’s bad times for buskers in New York.