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Fine for Dancing Dan sparks controversy
Published Friday, June 12, 2009 10:02AM MDT
A staple on west Edmonton street corners, Dancing Dan, is fighting a $402 ticket he received in Spruce Grove for stunting.
Dancing Dan dances to the beat on city streets and most people can't help but smile while he jives.
Recently, Dan went to visit a friend in Spruce Grove and while walking to their house, he started to dance, as he usually does. But his moves weren't welcome.
"It just makes me sick to my stomach to know that I received this violation ticket for what I enjoy doing," Dancing Dan told CTV News.
Dan was handed a ticket by an RCMP officer earlier this week and this was his first violation. In Edmonton, officers have told Dan that if he keeps his moves off the street, he can dance on any sidewalk he pleases.
"As a result of public complaints Dan eventually got a stunting ticket for interfering with the motorists," said Sgt. Jim Martin with Spruce Grove RCMP.
The RCMP said the complaints they received ranged from drivers being distracted by the dancing to some saying they were concerned Dan was suffering a medical attack.
"We know that's his passion and we don't want to discourage what Dan is doing, but we have to find an alternate location for him to do that where its not interfering with motorists," said Martin.
Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston said RCMP officers were just doing their job.
"There was several occasions they tried to get Dan to move to another location and I can't really criticize them for trying to do their job," said Houston.
Dan said the ticket price is more than he can handle.
"It's a $402 fine and I don't know how I'm going to pay for something like that," he said.
But Dan may have some help paying for that ticket. A local Edmonton radio station said they would be happy to foot the cost.
"We're going to pay it because for all the things that go on in this world this doesn't seem like a big one and it brings so much joy," said 100.3 The Bear radio host, Paul Brown. "It really puts a smile on your face (and) I actually pull around to go watch him again."
And most Edmonton drivers admitted that they consider Dan's dancing to be harmless.
"If he is causing accidents, that is a problem but I mean as far as I know everyone is entertained by him. I don't think he's hurting anybody," said Lori Williamson.
The RCMP told CTV News on Thursday afternoon they're confident the violation will be taken care of before Dan has to go to court.
Houston said Spruce Grove would encourage Dan to return but encourages him to find a safer venue to dance in.
"It makes me at ease that this will be dismissed eventually and then I will be a free person to do what I want to do," said Dan.
With files from Dez Melenka