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Man 'playing' electric violin for donations outside Jacksonville Beach Target runs off when asked if he's really playing

WTLV-TV Jacksonville logo WTLV-TV Jacksonville 3/20/2021 Harold Goodridge, First Coast News Staff

His sign read: "PLEASE HELP ME I LOST MY JOB FOR COVID I HAVE 2 KIDS HELP, FOR FOOD & RENT, GOD BLESS"

He was with a young child and a woman Friday on the sidewalk between the Super Target and Michael's crafts store at Pablo Creek Plaza on Beach Boulevard.

He declined to give his name. He was playing an electric violin. Or at least he looked like he was playing it.

The sound coming from the speaker was flawless and loud. During some of the songs he allegedly played, his bow didn't even touch the surface of the instrument, but miraculously, the beautiful sound continued flowing from the amplifier.

The expressive electrical music streamed throughout the parking lot attracting shoppers, many of whom threw cash into the basket in front of his speaker. "Thank you," he'd say as he continued playing.

Or at least it looked like he was playing.

Several times as the music played and notes changed or the vibrato caused expressive shifts in the pitch of the song, his fingers magically weren't moving on the fingerboard.

He was eventually approached by a reporter and asked to play a scale. A minor? C major?

"I don't speak English very well," he said several times in a heavy accent. After persistent request to play a scale or anything without the assistance of his amplifier, the alleged violinist quickly began packing up his family and his equipment.

"I'm tired and my arm is hurting," he said rubbing his wrist.

After a few more requests to continue playing, the woman picked up the child and they quickly jogged into the parking lot before entering a white Chevrolet Silverado.

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