The stunned onlookers gazed doubtfully at the scenes as the police tried to arrest a silver statue in the square of Armas in the city of San Juan in northern Puerto Rico.
However, they quickly realised the figure was in fact a street performer as he started moving away from the officers as he said he was trying to earn money in a place he knew was prohibited to the public.
The incident was recorded by tourist Martin Perez, who posted it on social media, where it quickly went viral.
In the clip Johan Figueroa Gonzalez can be seen ignoring the police as they tried to persuade him to move because he was not "following security proceedings”.
The tourists were left baffled as police appeared to arrest a statue
Seemingly mocking the attending officers, the street artist then moves to the side before he is arrested.
As he is led away from the square, Mr Perez can be heard shouting: "Don't worry this is my first arrest.
He added "Look at me I am struggling," as if to make out that the officer was treating him roughly.
"This was the new city mayor that all of you chose. Welcome to the new San Juan."
Don't worry this is my first arrest
Johan Figueroa Gonzalez
A police spokesman said the “silver statue” had been arrested for damaging the platform of the square's fountain and for obstructing justice.
Jose Orlando Lopez, the mayor's spokesman for security issues, added: "For security measures, the square was protected in order to avoid people from entering there and getting injured.
“The citizen went against the security measures in place by going inside the fountain of the square."
The footage quickly became on online hit and has been seen more than 250,000 times and social media users had mixed feelings about the stunt.
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One said: "This man has strong b*lls. I applaud him for standing up to them, I am not sure what he did wrong?"
While another added: "The thing that is being questioned is not his talent but his permission to do his act where he is. This is a restricted area and you can see a fence.
“He could show his talent in any other place without breaking the law. He knows that he is breaking the law and he is challenging authorities. Why do we have to allow people to do whatever they want and whenever they want in Puerto Rico?"