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Four teens cited for hip-hop McDonald's order
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Four American Fork teens are in hot water for upsetting a McDonald's restaurant manager with a hip-hop order at the drive-through, but the parents are saying their boys are getting a bad rap for their bad rap.

About 7 p.m. Tuesday, the teens -- one 18 and three-17-year-olds -- decided to emulate a popular YouTube video and rap their order at the American Fork eatery.

The employee was not amused, and asked the boys to speak not sing, said police Sgt. Gregg Ludlow. When they rapped again, the manager went outside, and asked them to speak their order or leave.

The boys left the restaurant, at 406 E. State St., and went to Lone Peak High School, where they are students.

The manager wrote down the car's license number and called police. Officers pulled over the Mazda SUV and cited all four boys for disorderly conduct, an infraction similar to a traffic ticket, Ludlow said.

Ludlow said the ticket was issued because the boys were asked several times to leave, and used foul language.

"It was no different from anyone else who is running a business and has someone come in and disrupts that business," Ludlow said. "They just continued to keep doing the same thing over and over. After being asked, 'Can you please speak?' they continued to say the same thing over and over."

According to Utah Code 76-9-102, disorderly conduct can be a class C misdemeanor if the offense continues after the person is asked to stop. Otherwise it is an infraction, as in this case.

Spenser Dauwalder, 18, said the group was on its way to a volleyball game when the boys decided to stop. They performed the brief rap once, with the video playing on an iPod. The worker asked them to repeat themselves, and they rapped the song again more slowly. The worker replied by saying: "Are you going to place your order or are you going to play games?" he said.

That's when one of them used foul language, saying "We just placed our f---ing order," though Dauwalder said it wasn't meant as any kind of threat. He said there were no other customers there at the time.

After the second rendition of the rap, the manager came out, said they were acting like children, and asked them to speak or leave. They decided to go.

"We thought they would kind of laugh about it," he said. "The first time we thought they didn't get it."

Conny Kramer, who owns the American Fork McDonald's franchise, issued a statement on the incident Thursday saying safety of employees and customers at the restaurant is a "top priority."

"Regarding this matter, the authorities were notified as a result of the alleged actions of these individuals in the drive-thru, not as a result of them rapping their order," Kramer's statement reads.

"We have fully cooperated with the local authorities in their investigation of this matter. As a result of their investigation, the authorities cited these individuals for disorderly conduct."

"I'm a little stunned by everything. It's hard to believe that kids are getting citations for being silly, I guess," said Dauwalder's mother Sharon. "I think it's over the top."

Nick Markham, the stepfather of one of the 17-year-old boys, said he was upset when he heard that one of his son's friends used profanity, but that the situation was blown out of proportion.

"I just think it's unfortunate that it kind of got to this point," he said. "It was suppose to just be something funny."

Markham said he thought the McDonald's manager shouldn't have had such a bad attitude about the situation and the police shouldn't have treated the teens like criminals.

Markham said his son has plans to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the future.

According to the LDS Church's General Handbook of Instructions, misdemeanors would not keep the boy from serving a mission for the church. A citation is a lesser charge than a misdemeanor.

Dauwalder has a scheduled court appearance on Nov. 17, and the family plans to dispute the citation.

Salt Lake Tribune reporter Jason Bergreen contributed to this story.

Bad rap » The disorderly conduct charge stems from profanity used in the drive-through.
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