The Fourth of July weekend celebrations at Jacksonville’s beaches are known for a few things, and one of those is patriotism unparalleled to any you can find anywhere else. A walking personification of this patriotism would have to be Jacksonville local, Lane Pittman. Pittman, 22, has made national headlines during the last week following his arrest during celebrations on the Fourth of July. Pittman was playing the National Anthem on his guitar on the corner of 1st and Margaret in Neptune Beach, when police officers stepped in and things got a little interesting.
“They told me to stop playing in the street,” Pittman said. “They told me I could play on the sidewalk.”
According to Pittman, and the numerous witnesses who corroborate his story, he then proceeded to finish the National Anthem, as well as bust into a tasty rendition of Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold,” before he was asked by different officers to put his guitar away and was put into the police cruiser. Later, Pittman received a citation, as well as a notice to appear in court.
Now, being put into the back of a cop car is definitely not an ideal scenario. But it seems Pittman has used the situation to gain a little bit of national attention. Pittman, who is very involved in the local community, both at his church and as a lacrosse coach at Fletcher, has nothing but support for the police and the work that they do. He believes that what happened on the Fourth of July can be viewed basically as a misunderstanding and lack of communication on both sides.
With that being said, Pittman reached out to local news outlets to get his story heard, and they obliged. What resulted is the story bouncing around the nation, landing Pittman a spot playing the National Anthem on national television for the FOX network show Fox and Friends, and a shoutout on social media from Ted Nugent himself.
“It’s all in God’s hands, and I know He has a plan for me,” Pittman said when asked about the attention.
Pittman’s recent celebrity following the events on the Fourth of July should not shock anyone who knows him, however. He is well-known in the Jacksonville area, and is always easy to spot due to his contagious charisma as well as his long, flowing red hair. Leading up to this recent attention, Pittman had already been lobbying to replace Curtis Dvorak as the Jacksonville Jaguars mascot, Jaxson DeVille.
Using the hashtag #JaxsonDeVilleInTheFastLANE, as well as making several videos, Pittman had already gained around 4,000 followers to the page he made on Facebook advocating his candidacy, “Lane Pittman for Jaxson DeVille,” before any of the events of the holiday weekend had even transpired. That number is sure to grow following the national spotlight he has been sitting in.
If you ask his friends, they will tell you that Lane Pittman is a good kid, who doesn’t drink or do drugs and is very active in the community. They will tell you that he is the last person who you would ever expect to be put into a cop car, and they will also tell you that he is the perfect man to fill the vacancy for the Jaguars long-time mascot. If you ask Lane Pittman, he’ll tell you everything happens for a reason.