Metro

Teens accused of attacking Keytar Bear could face hate crime charges

File photo

Keytar Bear.

Three New Hampshire teenagers were arraigned Monday on charges of assaulting a beloved street musician who plays near Faneuil Hall under the name Keytar Bear.

Suffolk County prosecutors said the teenagers, who were not named because they are juveniles, are also being investigated for potential hate crime charges.

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Authorities said the teenagers, a 15-year-old from Londonderry, a 16-year-old from Salem, and a 17-year-old from Manchester, approached the performer, who wears a bear costume, around 4:20 p.m. Saturday near Congress and State streets, authorities said.

They allegedly removed the mask of the performer, who is black, and struck him in the face and body while shouting a racial slur, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said. The performer sustained a cut on his face and swelling to his right eye.

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Multiple witnesses called 911, and the teenagers hurled racial slurs at them as well, authorities said. Some witnesses followed the teens when they fled the area and kept Boston police apprised of their whereabouts, authorities said.

They were caught while climbing scaffolding on Devonshire Street, Conley’s office said.

“That witness assistance had a direct effect on the officers’ ability to locate, identify, and apprehend the suspects,” authorities said.

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The teenagers are charged with assault and battery, disorderly conduct, and possession of alcohol by a minor. Pleas of not delinquent were entered on their behalf. They were released to their parents, and are due back in court July 12.

Cristela Guerra of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.
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