Donations come in for puppet man as businessman apologises for pouring water on stereo
PUBLISHED: 09:51 29 July 2015 | UPDATED: 18:13 29 July 2015
A fundraising page has been set up for street entertainer the puppet man after water was poured over his stereo in Great Yarmouth in the "heat of the moment".
The man who poured water over the Puppet Man’s stereo while he was performing in Great Yarmouth made amends this morning by buying him a replacement.
Great Yarmouth police said the incident was dealt with by way of a “community resolution” rather than by pressing charges.
It happened outside Market Gates shopping centre yesterday, when Ben Melhado, owner of Junx Clothing in Victoria Arcade, poured water over the small black stereo.
A picture of the incident has been circulated on social media and caused uproar among Facebook and Twitter users.
Police have been informed and said they have been made aware of what happened.
Ben had approached the puppet man to ask him to move along, as he feels that he brings down the image of the town. “It’s the first thing people see when they get off the bus,” he said. However, he explained that the water pouring was not meant to be malicious and happened “in the heat of the moment.”
The puppet man, real name David Perry, who is aged in his early 70s, is well known to visitors and locals alike, for his regular performances.
He can often be seen standing in public areas, including Gentleman’s Walk in Norwich, singing into a microphone with a musical backing track with a puppet on his arm.
In September 2010 he said he regretted moving his act to Yarmouth after he was assaulted by two men while performing at another of his regular pitches, outside McDonald’s in Regent Road.
“My intention wasn’t to destroy property,” Ben added. “Just to make a point.”
Mr Perry said: “I accept his apology because I’m a Christian, but I don’t know what the police will say, I might still press charges.”
Great Yarmouth Police have since tweeted about the incident. They said: “We can confirm that the puppet man is back in business with a new stereo. The matter has been dealt with by way of a community resolution.”
Other supporters have rallied around the iconic street performer.
Norwich businesses Courtesy Taxis, Repraw Clothing and Ink Smart, along with Norwich Salvation Army, came together to raise £200 for Mr Perry and gifted him a second new stereo.
Richard Cornwall, a driver for Courtesy who delivered the stereo said: “We heard about the gentleman’s misfortune and businesses in Norwich had a whip around.
“We were shocked, a gentleman in his senior years shouldn’t be picked on.”
Residents have also supported a fundraising page set up by Matt McIntyre. Mr McIntyre said: “I started the page because I don’t like to see people’s personal possessions being damaged and whilst everyone wants to do something to make it better it takes that one person to get the ball rolling, why not me?
“David seems like a lovely bloke, I don’t know how the persona of the puppet man came about, but by the reactions he’s clearly well thought of among those who have seen him perform.
“David told me he plans to move to Leeds with his wife and being as he has already been donated two stereos and other cash, I’ve decided to give him the original £500 target and donate anything over and above to Cancer Research which David already donates to.”
At the time of writing the page had raised £730, bringing the total in monetary donations to nearly £1000.
Follow the fundraising page by visiting https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/puppetmanstereo