The dancing man of Holladay goes to court, jury trial set for Nov. 18

    The dancing man of Holladay goes to court, jury trial set for Nov. 18 (Photo Michael Fessler, KUTV)

    (KUTV) He dances to the beat on countless sidewalks in Holladay and Cottonwood Heights, but some police officers on the beat apparently did not appreciate his act -- and Wednesday afternoon, Steve Unger faced the music in court.

    After Wednesday's court appearance, he has a Nov. 18 jury trial to face disorderly conduct charges. For Wednesday's court appearance he showed up in a suit he said he has never worn before and never will again.

    "What happened to me is pretty absurd," Unger told 2News. "I'm hoping the judge issues a reprimand to the people who did this to me."

    Nearly every day, the 68-year-old retiree dons selections from his brightly colored wardrobe, ties a bandana around his clean-shaven head, throws on the ear buds, plugs into his smart phone packed with tunes, and heads outdoors.

    He walks and dances up to 10 miles, a can't-miss figure, sometimes bouncing a rubber ball as he "glides" along streets, avenues and lanes.

    Kids from the local junior high say hello, and passersby in cars and SUVs wave.

    From the Salt Lake Tribune: Steve Unger, the dancing man of Holladay

    But in late August, Unger's dancing hit a sour note. His improv moves near Highland Drive and Fort Union may have drawn a call to Cottonwood Heights police, saying he was blocking traffic.

    A police officer was dispatched, said she observed him for a time, and then later approached with two others officers.

    Unger said they asked for his identification, which he initially declined to provide. He was cuffed and given a citation, charging him with disorderly conduct, failure to identify himself, and interference with an arresting officer.

    "Everything I did was cooperative," Unger said. "A 160 pound, 68-year-old man is going to fight with three police officers?"

    Cottonwood Heights police chief Robbie Russo was in the courtroom Wednesday and he said his officers acted appropriately dealing with Unger and said there are two sides to the story of his charges.

    Unger said he is not "as angry as a lot of people are about it." Still, he maintained there's a "need to underline accountability for police officers."

    Before court on Wednesday, Unger said expected the case to be dismissed, adding, "If it's not dismissed, I'll ask for a jury trial."

    Follow Brian Mullahy on Twitter @BMullahy2News for breaking news, updates and more.

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