(AP) – The case of one of four teens who were cited after rapping their order at a McDonald’s in Utah appears headed for trial.
Police in American Fork, about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City, cited the teens with disorderly conduct last month after the drive-through rap.
The teens have said they were imitating a rap from a popular YouTube video, which begins: “I need a double cheeseburger and hold the lettuce.”
Spenser Dauwalder, 18, has said employees at the fast-food restaurant told him and his friends they were holding up the line and needed to order or leave.
But Dauwalder said no one else was in line. He and his three 17-year-old friends left without buying anything.
A manager wrote down the car’s license plate number and called authorities, police Sgt. Gregg Ludlow has said. Officers later cited the teens in a high school parking lot outside a volleyball match.
Dauwalder is challenging the disorderly conduct infraction in state court in Utah County. He pleaded not guilty earlier this month, and at a hearing Wednesday, a bench trial was set for Jan. 29, said his mother, Sharon Dauwalder.
“It’s just, it’s wrong,” Sharon Dauwalder said. “I think the whole thing is wrong.”
Spenser Dauwalder’s attorney, Ann Boyle, said the whole incident has been overblown.
But attorney Kasey Wright, who represented American Fork in court Wednesday, said the case isn’t about free speech.
“This is not a First Amendment case,” he said. “This is disturbing the peace. It’s interrupting a business.”
Wright said he’s open to working out a deal in the case “if it can serve the demands of justice and the public interest.” He said the trial likely wouldn’t last more than an hour and is similar to what would happen if someone fought a speeding ticket in court.